When people think of Minnesota, taconite mines probably are not the first things that come to their minds. Nevertheless, taconite mining is big business in Minnesota, employing thousands of miners and ancillary workers. The dark side of this is that our taconite miners have a high risk of developing mesothelioma, an incurable form of cancer. So said a 2014 study that the University of Minnesota School of Public Health conducted. At the time, they assumed the asbestos in taconite was what was causing the cancer.
If you are regularly exposed to toxic substances such as chemical fumes or asbestos at your job in Minnesota, you may expect your employer to provide you with a respirator that meets the standards set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. However, there may be risk factors in your workplace that you are not aware of. The American Thoracic Society provides an in-depth look at the types of occupational exposures that could cause a particular type of lung disease known as Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.
Each day, hundreds of members of the Minnesota workforce are exposed to harsh environmental conditions while performing routine job responsibilities. Extended exposure to severe conditions can have many lasting side effects that can affect a person's health, quality of life and ability to continue working.
As we continue to become reliant on technology is all aspects of life, many Minnesota jobs will include work on computers and require many hours spent typing. Such situations can take a toll on the hands, wrists and arms, leading to occupational diseases. One of the most common of these is carpal tunnel syndrome.
Because asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that resists heat and electricity, it would seem to be an excellent substance for use in buildings. The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry notes that while this was initially thought to be true, scientists discovered that exposure to the fibers can be fatal.
In Minnesota, you have the right to be protected against occupational diseases. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, an occupational disease is a condition caused by your work environment. This could include a range of things, such as lung disease, repetitive stress injuries or cancer. Such conditions often take time to develop and occur due to consistent and prolonged exposure to the source causing the disease.
If you work in gardening, landscaping or farming in Minnesota, you should be well aware that there are risks associated with these occupations. Not only are you exposed to the elements, which can be severe in this state, you also work with powerful machinery and potentially harmful chemicals.
You may have an idea in your head for what occupational disease means. We've covered the topic on this blog in the past, mentioning common exposure risks and diseases that many have heard of and associate with certain types of work.
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.
Asthma can affect anyone. From kids to adults, it’s a disease that could be hereditary or it can be caused by outside influences. It happens to be one of the most common occupational diseases.