Definition - What does Occupational Disease mean?
Occupational disease refers to an illness caused by the nature of one's job or the conditions at work. This is also called a work-related disease. It is attributed to biological, chemical, or physical agents in the place of work.
Insuranceopedia explains Occupational Disease
Some jobs expose people to the possibility of a disease. Miners and construction workers, for instance, may develop a lung disease called silicosis from exposure to silica which is a common mineral found on earth. Those who operate on diesel-fueled machines are likely to inhale diesel fumes that may damage the lungs. Welders work with metals that emit toxic fumes. Government laws are strict regarding the implementation of safety measures on the sites where these jobs are performed.
If it can be proven that a person's illness is work-related, he or she can file a workers' compensation claim from his or her employer. He or she can also sue a company for a disease-causing substance found in a product he or she uses or is exposed to at work or the failure of a safety gear from protecting him or her from contracting a disease.