As a part of a national effort to document and prevent any future instances of occupational diseases, injuries or exposures, health care professionals in Massachusetts are required to report certain types of occupational disease to the state department of health. The law was first passed in 1992.
The following occupational diseases and injuries must be reported:
- Occupational lung diseases – Asthma, Asbestosis, Silicosis, Chemical pneumonitis, Beryllium disease
- Serious work-related injuries to persons less than 18 years of age – A serious work-related traumatic injury is defined as an injury which results in death or hospitalization, or, in the judgment of the treating physician, results in, or will result in significant scarring or disfigurement; OR permanent disability; OR Protracted loss of consciousness; OR Loss of a body part of bodily function; OR is less significant but similar to injuries sustained by other patients at the same place of employment.
- Work-related acute chemical poisoning – Carbon monoxide poisoning, Pesticide poisoning, Other acute poisoning
- Work-related heavy metal absorption – Cadmium, Mercury, Lead (reported to the Occupational Lead Registry), Other heavy metals
- Work-related carpal tunnel syndrome
- Work-related disease outbreaks
You may wonder as a business owner what this means for your employees. Will they have coverage for their disease or injury? Your employees will have coverage for their occupational disease or injury through your workers compensation policy as long as the disease or injury is proven to have been procured in the course of employment.
If you have any questions about your workers compensation policy or would like to know more about the reporting laws in Massachusetts for occupational disease or injury, please give us a call. We can go over your current policy and let you know if anything needs to be upgraded in order to have your employees fully covered.