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Published on Friday, January 30, 2015

Modifying the definition of occupational disease

Last year’s proposal to modify the definition of occupational disease has been reintroduced this year and is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee next week. SB 5509 specifies an occupational disease claim must arise out of and in the course of employment where the worker is exposed to the disease and outlines this four-part test:

  • The disease is proximately caused by the distinctive conditions under which the work is performed and risk of exposure inherent therein;
  • The disease arose as a natural incident of the employment-related exposure;
  • The worker would not have ordinarily been exposed to the disease outside of the worker’s employment; and
  • The disease is not an ordinary condition of life to which the general public is exposed without regard to employment.

The bill also shortens the statute of limitations on all occupational disease claims from two years to one year.

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