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Lung disease among illnesses that can affect certain farm workers

When one hears of vineyards, it is likely that certain states come to mind. However, Missouri is also home to several dozen vineyards, and, as a result, the injuries and illnesses that can affect these types of agricultural workers is an important consideration. While physical injuries are often the ones given the greatest consideration, illness is another hazard vineyard employees face, including the risk of a lung disease.

The federal office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently updated its regulations that require employers to file reports of illnesses or injuries via its new electronic system. These reports are required any time a worker suffers any work-related illness or injury -- even those that do not require emergency treatment. Those who work in the wine-making industry face a variety of health hazards, including those that are caused by repetitive motions.

Along with muscular and nerve damage injuries, workers who are exposed to certain mites that feed on grape vines can develop conditions such as asthma and other lung complaints. There is also a danger of being exposed to asbestos in certain wine-making facilities, which has been linked to mesothelioma. Workers are also exposed to the dangers posed by environmental dangers, including heat-related illnesses.

Regardless of the type of working environment, Missouri employers are required by law to address any injuries or illnesses in a timely manner and to cooperate with OSHA officials to ensure that the well-being of all employees is assured. Residents who have suffered any work-related injury or illness -- including any lung disease caused by one's employment -- are entitled to file a claim for benefits from the state's workers' compensation program. An experienced attorney can provide assistance in handling valid claims in an efficient manner to ensure one obtains the maximum benefit amounts.

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