It is fairly easy to understand what a workplace injury is, but you may be unclear of what a workplace illness is. These two categories explain the different health issues you may encounter as a result of an accident or a situation within your workplace. Injuries happen due to an accident whereas illnesses are usually a result of exposure to a substance or some type of toxin, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
There are a few different kinds of workplace illnesses that fall into categories. Hearing issues, such as loss of hearing, happen when you have exposure to excessive or loud noises at work. Skin issues are another category. They typically occur due to exposure to substances and can include allergic reactions. Poisonings are also a result of exposure to toxins, although it may not be through the skin. You could breathe in a toxin as well.
Another breathing related issue are respiratory illnesses. Finally, there are other illnesses that may occur in certain work environments. For example, if you work outside, you could get heatstroke or frostbite. If you work with blood, you may get hepatitis or HIV.
It is also possible for you to have a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by your working conditions and therefore qualify as a workplace illness.
An illness can occur in an instant or happen over time. This is the same as with workplace injuries. In addition, your employer should provide you with safety gear and other safety equipment to help minimize the risk of an illness or to prevent an illness. This information is for education and is not legal advice.