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Occupational Diseases Give Rise to Workers' Comp Claims in NC

treatment for work illnessesWorkers can also collect under North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act if they become ill and are rendered unable to work as a result of an occupational disease.

The North Carolina Supreme Court has defined an occupational disease as “a diseased condition caused by a series of events, of a similar or like nature, occurring regularly or at frequent intervals over an extended period of time in employment.” The Supreme Court also accepted the following definition of occupational disease:

A diseased condition arising gradually from the character of the employees work.

By statute in North Carolina occupational diseases are “treated as the happening of an injury by accident within the meaning of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act and the procedure and practice and compensation and other benefits provided by said act shall apply in all such cases...”

The North Carolina General Assembly has listed those diseases which are to be deemed occupational diseases. Among these are the following:

  • Anthrax poisoning
  • Arsenic poisoning
  • Brass poisoning
  • Zinc poisoning
  • Manganese poisoning
  • Lead poisoning
  • Mercury poisoning
  • Phosphorus poisoning
  • Poisoning by carbon bisulphide, menthanol,
  • Chrome ulceration
  • Compressed-air illness
  • Poisoning by benzol, or by nitro and amido deritives of benzol, aniline, and others.
  • Epitheliomatous cancer or ulceration of the skin.
  • Radium poisoning.
  • Blisters due to use of tools or appliances in the employment
  • Bursitis
  • Miner’s nystagmus
  • Bone felon
  • Synovitis
  • Tenosynovitis
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Poisoning by sulphuric, hydrochloric or hydrofluoric Acid
  • Asbestosis
  • Silicosis
  • Psittacosis
  • Undulant fever and the vaccinia virus, or any adverse medical reaction when the infection or adverse reaction is due to the employee receiving an employment vaccination against smallpox, or due to the employee being exposed to another employee vaccinated as described.