COPD - A workplace injury?

Can COPD be classified as a workplace injury?

COPD – A workplace injury?

When you think of a workplace injury, you probably think of an injury caused by an immediate accident. But what if the injury isn’t immediate?

Lung problems can develop over time as a result of poor workplace safety practices.


Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is not a disease itself. COPD is a collection of diseases (such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema). It restricts the airflow into the airways of your lungs.

COPD can result from being exposed to harmful substances in your workplace.

Signs and Symptoms

Common symptoms of COPD:

  • Wheezing
  • Continuous cough (often accompanied by sputum or even blood)
  • skin discoloration (skin may turn blue/purple from lack of oxygen, especially around the lips and nails)
  • short breath (which can lead to an inability to exercise)

If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, visit a doctor immediately.


A doctor can determine whether or not you’re suffering from COPD. Employees that work with silica, asbestos, grains/flours, or wood are at a high risk of developing this disease.


It’s a common misconception that you can only file for a workers’ compensation claim if you’re injured in the workplace. You can actually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for many occupational illnesses (like COPD).

Developing COPD because of exposure to harmful substances in your workplace means you can still file for workers’ compensation benefits.

For help filing your workers’ compensation claim and to ensure you have the proper evidence to support it, consider hiring an expert workers’ compensation attorney to help walk you through the process. Contact The Clardy Law Firm to set up your consultation today!