Our Workers Compensation Attorney is Ready to Help You
Workers Compensation attorney Phillip B. Shell has been successfully representing injured workers for over 30 years. A true expert on the system and its many complexities, Phil develops creative solutions that provide injured or ill workers with needed compensation while addressing the employer's concerns when possible. Although his first approach is to seek win-win solutions, he will also pursue matters through the Utah Labor Commission and beyond. He has received accolades from Utah Business Magazine and has been a featured speaker at many legal education seminars, and is dedicated to helping sick and injured workers and their families.
Call Phil to discuss your occupational disease claim. The initial consultation is free, and if you choose to retain him you'll only pay if he settles or wins your case. He represents clients throughout Utah as well as many states with Utah-related claims. He has the experience to help you. He is available for appointments during our normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m) as well as during evenings and weekends.
Call or email today to schedule a free, no-commitment consultation with Phil
  • 801-262-6800
  • lawyer@dslaw.com

Additional Information About Workers Compensation

Occupational disease claims and repetitive trauma injuries constitute the fastest growing segment of claims in the workers' compensation system. The irony is that these injuries also continue to be under recognized as occupational diseases, despite their becoming increasingly common workplace problems. An estimated 860,000 illnesses and 60,300 deaths from workplace exposures occur annually in the United States. Studies have found that 75 percent of hospitalized and ambulatory primary care patients report hazardous exposures, and 17 percent suspect that their illness is linked to their job. Work-related illness is diagnosed in approximately only 10 percent of these patients. You need to be aware of your rights if you have a health problem related to your work so that you don't miss out on the benefits you should receive.

What can qualify as an occupational disease that your employer or his workers' compensation insurance carrier should pay for? The easier question may be, if your job has made you sick, what wouldn't qualify as an occupational disease? If the work you were doing, or the environment in which you work has made you ill or suffer physical or mental problems, and it was not a one-time event , it is probably a compensable occupational disease that you should report to your employer and for which you should seek prompt medical care.

Traditional industrial accidents normally involve a sudden and unexpected act or event. That is, you pick up something too heavy, you fall or something falls on you and a broken arm or broken leg or lumbar herniation results. These are usually one-time events and should be reported right away and for which medical care should be sought.
If it occurred over a period of time, it is most likely an occupational disease. Valid occupational disease claims can include, but certainly are not limited to an illness or infirmity resulting from exposure to chemicals or other industrial substances (with resulting lung diseases, heart disease, organ disease, cancer, organic brain dysfunction, loss of teeth, loss of hearing, loss of  reproductive function and ability, loss of smell, etc.); repetitive use of hands,  arms, legs, back, neck, eyes and voice.  They can involve silicosis, asbestosis, tuberculosis, brucellosis, pneumonicosis, acidosis, and nervous breakdowns.  Not to be left out would be carpal tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, arthritis, and bursitis, lumbar and cervical strains, chronic synovitis of the knees and shingles.

Just about anything that can happen to a person, which ultimately culminates in a condition that can be medically linked to the work environment, may be pursued as an occupational disease claim.

It is important to contact an attorney with experience in dealing with workers’ compensation and occupational disease claims if you suffer an injury or illness at work so that you can get information on what you need to do to protect your rights.


A Partial List of Illnesses or Health Conditions 
That Can Be Associated with Occupational Exposure
ConditionTypes of exposuresRepresentative occupations
Musculoskeletal  
Carpal tunnel syndromeRepetition Vibration Awkward postures Cold temperatureLetter sorting Assembly work Computer work Food processing
De Quervain's tendinitisRepetition High forceMeat packing Manufacturing
Cervical strainStatic postureComputer work
Thoracic outlet syndromeStatic posture, repetitionAssembly work
Respiratory  
Interstitial fibrosisAsbestos Silica CoalMining, construction trades, building maint, mining, foundry work, sandblasting
AsthmaAnimal products Plant products Wood dust Isocyanates Metals (e.g., cobalt) Cutting oils Irritants (e.g., sulfur dioxide)Laboratory work Baking Furniture making Plastics manufacturing Hard metals manufacturing Machine operation
BronchitisAcids Smoke Nitrogen oxidesPlating Fire fighting Welding
Hypersensitivity PneumonitisMoldy hay Cutting oilsFarming Machine operation
Upper airway irritationIndoor air pollution (i.e., sick building syndrome)Office work Teaching
Neurologic  
Chronic encephalopathyOrganic solvents Organophosphate pesticides LeadPainting, automobile body repair Pesticide application Bridge work, painting, radiator repair, metal recycling
Peripheral PolyneuropathyOrganophosphate pesticides Methyl butyl ketonePesticide application Fabric coating
Hearing lossLoud noiseMany occupations
Infectious  
Blood borne infectionsHIV, hepatitis BHealth care work, prison work
Airborne infectionsTuberculosisHealth care work, prison work
Infections transmitted fecally or orallyHepatitis AHealth care work, animal care
ZoonosesLyme diseaseForestry and other outdoor work
Cancer  
LungAsbestos Chromium Coal tar, pitchConstruction trades Welding, plating Steelworking
LiverVinyl chloridePlastics manufacturing
BladderBenzidinePlastics and chemical manufacturing
Skin  
Contact dermatitisOrganic solvents, Nickel LatexMany occupations Hairdressing Health care work
Reproductive  
Spontaneous abortionEthylene oxideSterilizing
Sperm abnormalitiesDibromochloropropanePesticide manufacturing
Birth defectsIonizing radiationRadiographic technicians
Developmental abnormalitiesLeadBridge work, metal recycling
Cardiovascular  
Coronary artery diseaseCarbon monoxide StressWorking with combustion products Machine-paced work