Many people in Mississippi work outdoors, whether they are in construction, landscaping, farming, or any other number of occupations. Spending time in the sun can be enjoyable, but it also comes with some risks, one of which is skin cancer.
Skin Cancer Statistics
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, there will be about 99,780 new cases of melanoma in 2022. Of those cases, 7,650 are predicted to die, with 66.4 percent being men and the remaining 33.6 percent being women. While anyone can develop skin cancer, specific individuals may be exposed to more significant risks based on their occupation.
Who is Most At-Risk?
Though anyone can develop skin cancer, those with certain occupations are more susceptible due to their regular exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Some of the most at-risk professions for developing occupational skin cancer include:
- Construction workers.
- Line installers and repairers.
- Truck drivers.
Other Types of Occupational Skin Diseases
In addition to skin cancer, other types of occupational skin diseases can develop due to exposure to certain chemicals, irritants, or allergens. These include:
- Irritant contact dermatitis: This type of dermatitis is caused by an irritant that comes into contact with the skin and results in inflammation. It is the most common type of occupational skin disease.
- Allergic contact dermatitis: Allergic contact dermatitis is similar to irritant contact dermatitis but is caused by an allergic reaction to a substance such as latex or nickel. Both types of contact dermatitis account for 90 percent of all workplace skin diseases.
- Urticaria: Urticaria, also known as hives, is a condition that causes raised, itchy welts on the skin.
Can Skin Cancer Be Considered an Occupational Disease?
The good news is that you may be covered under Mississippi's Workers' Compensation laws if you are diagnosed with skin cancer or any other type of occupational skin disease. These laws state that any and all injuries or illnesses resulting from the work performed within the scope of one's employment are covered. This includes both physical and mental injuries.
To receive benefits, you will need to prove that your illness was caused by your employment. This can be done by showing that:
- You were exposed to UV radiation as a result of your occupation.
- Your exposure to UV radiation was the primary cause of your illness.
- You did not have any pre-existing conditions that would have made you more susceptible to developing skin cancer.
How to Protect Workers from Sun Exposure
There are some preventive measures that can be taken by employers to help reduce the risk of developing skin cancer and other occupational skin diseases. Employers should:
- Provide workers with sunscreen.
- Encourage workers to take breaks in shady areas.
- Educate workers on the dangers of UV radiation exposure.
You may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer or any other type of occupational skin disease. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits to which you are entitled.
Workers' Compensation Attorney in Gulfport, Mississippi
If you have developed skin cancer or any other type of occupational skin disease, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The experienced Gulfport workers' compensation attorneys at Gulf South Law Firm can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
If you have developed a workplace injury or illness, call our office today at (228) 231-3989 for a free consultation.