Getting sick while you are at work can be problematic. For one, you’re uncertain between showing up and enduring a long, unproductive day or staying home and getting some much-needed rest. At work, while clocked in and under the weather, risks affecting your workmates with whatever virus you have.

While you can effortlessly bounce back after a few days of rest and return to work come Monday, work-related illness is a bit more complex. Adverse health conditions caused by aggravation on your job can impact how you work and affect your quality of life.

What Is Work-Related Illness?

Worker ill health is caused or even exacerbated by undesirable work conditions. They can occur as sudden injuries or slowly build up over time due to repetitive strains and stressful work environments.

They manifest as various physical and mental conditions such as:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) due to repetitive strains from handling, lifting, or definite work positions (sitting on a desk, standing too long, etc.)
  • Skin and pulmonary diseases due to exposure to harmful substances
  • Various types of cancers
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression
If you experience any of the health conditions mentioned or suspect that your current illness is made worse by your job, you can check out this list of workers comp illnesses and how you can seek assistance.

What To Do When You Have Work-Related Illness

Learning that you are sick can be devastating. It can affect you, your work, and those who depend on you. If you are diagnosed with any form of work-related illness, here are some suggestions to help you manage your condition:

Report Work-Related Illness To Superiors

Work-related illness goes beyond telling your supervisors that you are sick and unable to report for several days. You have to inform them of the exact cause of your sickness so they can provide you with appropriate assistance such as leave pay and other health benefits.

An employee is also entitled to workers comp. Based on several qualifications, a claim presumes the length of tenure, nature of the illness, and the type of coverage provided by the insurance company.

A workers comp attorney is essential for gathering robust evidence supporting your claim. They
obtain medical records, collaborate with experts, and collect witness statements to establish the
injury's work-related nature. The attorney ensures a comprehensive case by reviewing
employment records, conducting investigations, and handling communication with insurance

Additionally, they compile financial and vocational records, negotiating a fair settlement
covering medical expenses and lost wages. Through the crafting of persuasive legal arguments,
the attorney maximizes the likelihood of a successful outcome, offering crucial assistance in
navigating the complexities of a workers; compensation claim.

Continue Medical Treatment

Aside from medical benefits, your company may also allow you to take some time off for recovery. Use this time to take some rest and undergo further treatment or rehabilitation. Follow the doctor’s orders regarding medication and therapy schedules so you can return to work the soonest.

If you fear that your condition will get worse when you return to work, you can talk to your doctor about your concerns. Besides issuing a fit-to-work order, they may also include recommendations so you can continue to work despite your condition. They can advise reducing work hours, assigning fewer demanding tasks, or other suitable adaptations.

In addition, your doctor can also prescribe medication that will not interfere with your performance. They can provide you with meds and treatment that will not only alleviate pain from repetitive strains but also ensure you remain safe and focused while at work.

Adopt Better Work Practices

Work-related illness can affect the way you do things at work. It may impede your ability to operate machinery or hinder you from performing crucial tasks. Adapting better work practices can prevent your work-related illness from getting worse.

For those constantly exposed to harmful substances and risky work environments, wearing PPE can keep you safe. Office-based personnel can benefit from an ergonomics program that reduces the incidence of musculoskeletal conditions.

Mental wellness programs can also help manage depression and anxiety among employees. Counseling, exercise, and other helpful activities alleviate symptoms and improve workplace conditions.

It’s best to take advantage of all the programs within your company. If your workplace doesn’t have any, you can forward your suggestions to your HR department.

Practice Self Care

Your doctor and your company can only go as far as providing you with adequate financial and psychological support. Your attitude and habits will determine how well you manage your work-related illness at the end of the day.

Make sure to follow basic self-care rules to keep you on top of your condition. Sleep for eight hours, eat healthily, and unwind. It also helps to let others know how you feel and what they can do to help. Inform family, friends, and even co-workers of your condition. Their love and support can help you overcome your health challenges.


Work-related illness can be devastating. It can change the way you work and the way you live. Knowing how to manage your disease starts with informing your superiors about your condition. Medical benefits can sustain your treatment, while workplace adaptation enables you to return to work without exacerbating your problem. Self-care is also a must, along with support from loved ones.

All these can help you manage work-related illness and help you rise above its challenges.