Occupational diseases are always preventable. Not every employee can avoid working with contaminants, but you should be protected from contracting diseases through proper safety measures. It is also important to get regular physical exams.
OSHA has standards employers must follow for employees who work with asbestos. However, asbestos is not the only cause of occupational diseases. If you are exposed to any irritants or chemicals you should make sure you are getting physical exams and discussing potential issues with your doctor.
Occupational diseases can be chronic and may manifest in different ways. You may not even know you have a disease until it is too late.
The best thing you can do is stay proactive. Physical exams are a good idea for everyone, and discussing with your doctors hazards you encounter at work can help maintain your health.
As safety standards have improved, employees are better protected against disease. Your employer may even offer screenings and tests if you are frequently exposed to harmful elements.
However, you can’t just leave your health up to your employer. Your health shouldn’t be put at risk through work, but you should discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.
Being proactive can help you avoid risks. Early detection can also be important. By having a doctor you trust know your work environment and possible disease risks, you can better know what to test for in a physical exam. If a disease is found that can be traced back to your work, you’ll have the information on your side to fight for your rights against your employer.