Certain industries pose serious risks of skin infections and diseases. You could be entitled to workers’ compensation depending on the nature of your illness. Contact Silverman, McDonald & Friedman in Wilmington, Newark, or Seaford to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney today.
While many workplace injuries are due to physical exertion, there are other common reasons workers may need to stop working. Workers may also be entitled to workers’ compensation in Delaware due to occupational illnesses. Skin disorders can be due to both injuries and an occupational illness. Skin disorders may also be due to fungal and bacterial infections and to the elements including heat and cold.
If you suffer a skin disorder to a workplace injury, you are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to treat the disorder and pay benefits while the disorder prevents you from working. If you have a skin disease due to working at your job, you can also claim workers’ compensation benefits.
What are the common types of dermatological disorders and injuries?
Long-term exposure to toxins can cause permanent skin problems, or lead to other health concerns. The more common types of work-related dermatological injuries and illnesses include:
- Burn injuries. Burns can happen for many reasons including thermal, electrical, and radiation burns. A typical example is when a waitress spills hot coffee on her/his arm causing a first, second, or third-degree burn. Treatment may require skin grafts and plastic surgery.
- According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dermatitis is a common condition that has many causes and occurs in many forms. It usually involves itchy, dry skin or a rash on swollen, reddened skin. Or it may cause the skin to blister, ooze, crust or flake off.” Dermatitis is due to an inflammation of the skin. Common reasons for dermatitis in the workplace are exposure to toxic chemicals. Dermatitis at industrial facilities, hospitals, and any place that relies on cleaning agents is common.
- Hives are a form of skin rash which can be caused by reactions to medications, foods, or other reasons. Mental and physical stress can make hives worse, and in some rare cases, the swelling can close a person’s throat, affecting swallowing and breathing.
- Skin cancer. This disease is the most serious type of disorder a worker can suffer. Many people die from skin cancer. Treatment can take months or years. Agricultural workers, construction workers, and anyone who works outside on a regular basis have a higher risk of developing skin cancer than indoor workers. Exposure to dangerous chemicals can also cause skin cancer.
- Blisters and abrasions. Any worker can develop a blister or get a cut at work, but if the injury is left uncovered or unaddressed – especially if the worker is in a non-sterile area – there is a risk of infection. This infection can travel, meaning a simple blister or cut on the finger can lead to a much larger problem.
- Psoriatic arthritis. This form of arthritis causes swelling, pain and joint damage, and develops only in those who have psoriasis. While there is much debate about what causes psoriasis in the first place, it is known that overexertion can exacerbate pre-existing conditions. In other words, if a worker already has this condition, his or her job can cause additional strain, making it impossible to work without pain. In some cases, a worker may cause more damage by trying to push through the pain.
Which Delaware workers are most at risk of skin disorders?
Certain industries and sectors in Delaware pose a greater risk for employees developing skin disorders. Those can include:
- Working with oils, tar, shale, and other products with hydrocarbons
- Working with industrial or cleaning chemicals
- “Wet work,” such as washing dishing, janitorial work, salon work, and swim instruction
- Utility work
- Insulation installation and removal
- Nuclear energy work
How can a Delaware workers’ compensation attorney help?
An experienced Delaware workers’ compensation lawyer will show that your disorder developer as a result of the work that you do, or that your work exacerbated a pre-existing condition. We will review your medical records and work with doctors to:
- Verify that you do have a skin disorder
- Determine the cause of the dermatological issues, including whether the effects are caused by injury, such as a chemical spill or a burn, or due to an occupational illness such as long-term exposure to dangerous toxins
- Understand the medical care you’ll need to treat your skin injuries and diseases
- Confirm how the dermatological disorders prevent you from working
- Determine whether your skin problems are temporary or whether they will result in a permanent disability
Our experienced Delaware workers’ compensation at Silverman, McDonald & Friedman fight to show that the skin disorder was due to a workplace accident or to your work environment. We demand that your employer pays for all your medical expenses, your temporary work loss benefits, and f any permanent disability. To discuss your dermatological workplace claim, please call us at 302.888.2900 or complete our contact form. We have offices in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Friedman joined Silverman, McDonald & Friedman in 2001. He graduated from Widener University School of Law, and is admitted to practice law in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and in several Federal Circuit courts. He areas of concentration include auto accident and workers’ compensation cases. Read more about Attorney Friedman here.