In the U.S., heart disorders are responsible for more deaths than any other disease.
Exposure to certain environmental conditions can cause or aggravate heart disease. Whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for a heart disorder can be a complicated matter. It is often difficult to prove that a heart disorder is a result of workplace conditions. In addition, heart disorders can go undiagnosed for years, making it even more difficult to prove the link between the illness and workplace conditions.
Workplace Risks That Can Cause Heart Disorders
There are several workplace conditions that can lead to the development of heart disorders. These include:
- Chemical exposure – Chemicals can cause serious or even life-threatening heart disorders. For example, long-term exposure to carbon monoxide can damage the walls of the heart. Chemicals such as halogenated hydrocarbons and carbon disulfide can cause palpitations or arrhythmias.
- Trace metal exposure – Ingesting or inhaling trace metals in the workplace can cause heart disorders or other conditions that lead to heart disorders. Common metals that can lead to heart disorders include beryllium, antimony, cobalt, and lead.
- Noise – It has been shown that long-term exposure to loud noises can cause high blood pressure, which can eventually lead to heart disorders. Studies have revealed that workers who suffer from job-related hearing loss are more likely to suffer from cardiac problems related to noise stress.
- Heat and vibration – The link between exposure to extreme temperatures or vibration and heart disorders is still being researched; however, they do place stress on the body, leading to heart problems.
- Mental stress – Workers are often mentally stressed because of tight deadlines, long work hours, difficult co-workers, performance pressures, and other stresses. According to the CDC, these stresses can play an important role in the development of heart disorders. In fact, working overtime has been linked to an increased risk of heart-related conditions and work-related accidents.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Heart Disorders
As we said earlier, getting workers’ compensation benefits for heart disorders is not always easy. A worker must prove that the illness is a direct result of a workplace accident or exposure to chemicals or trace metals in the workplace. This becomes difficult if the disorder has developed gradually over time.