Occupational Injuries vs. Occupational Diseases and Their Common Types

Even though occupational injury and occupational disease both occur at the workplace and require worker’s compensation, they differ. No matter how unfortunate, injuries and diseases are very common in the workplace.

From broken bones and torn tissues to inhalation of toxic chemicals over time, the injuries and diseases that occur as a result should get the validation and compensation they deserve. Could you continue reading to find all about it?

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What is the difference between the two?

Occupational injury comprises physical harm caused when an employee is involved in an accident at the site, for instance, laceration of the arm due to an industrial machine or slip and fall accident.

At the same time, an occupational disease is an illness that develops over time due to an employee’s prolonged exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos fibers, dust, harmful chemicals. The disease occurs due to the employer or even worker neglect.

What are the most common occupational injuries?

1) Falls

Generally, fall protection should be provided at 4 feet and around feet in the construction field. A certified engineer should approve the railings, harness, or forklift system used.

2) Stuck in between

Moving machinery parts pose a lot of threat for workers. Proper measures like tied hair, no jewelry, loose clothing, and anything that may get caught in machinery and compromise the worker’s life should be removed. Moreover, machinery maintenance regularly is also essential to prevent injuries.

3) Electrocution

This usually occurs due to an unsafe work environment, unsafe measures for installation, and unsafe practices employed. Workers should be given a safe work environment with the proper insulation and protective devices.

4) Hit by

It is best to apply preventive measures like railing, barriers, mirrors, and alarms to keep workers alert and away from machinery and workplace floor.

What is the most common occupational disease?

1) Chemical poisoning

Chemical poisoning develops over some time of exposure to harmful chemicals without any protection. This usually occurs due to improper employee training and an inadequate protective clothing and equipment supply.

2) Cancers

Various cancers can develop, including peritoneal mesothelioma, a cancer of the thin membrane lining of the abdomen. It develops due to asbestos exposure causing shortness of breath, fatigue, lack of appetite, lung issues, pain in the chest, and clubbing of toes and fingers.

3) Neurological problems

Harmful substances can also cause serious neurological damage. From constant headaches, lightheadedness, and fatigue to serious nerve damage causing loss of control and numbness.

4) Respiratory problems

Respiratory problems like asthma can develop due to prolonged exposure to airborne irritants at the worksite. Sometimes workers breathe in too much potassium dichromate regularly due to their work in construction sites that can damage their lungs.

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5) Skin problems

Skin problems can develop when an employee’s skin is exposed to industrial chemicals and irritants that cause cell damage and thus lead to dermatitis.

6) Stress

Employees can experience stress due to difficult jobs, abusive employers, harassing coworkers, etc. Emotional stress and suffering are difficult to prove compared to a physical injury. But it is also a type of disease that can be used to claim for worker’s compensation.


Worker’s health and well-being should be the top priority for employers. However, unfortunately, sometimes, the work environment provided to workers is very unsafe for their health. This is why you need to stay alert to the problems that can arise at the workplace.

If you think you have been exposed to something that can cause illnesses or if you have sustained injuries at the workplace, then you should report it immediately. If you need help getting the compensation you deserve, then hire an abogados de accidentes de refineria.