Work injuries may bring up thoughts of accidents where the injury is obvious. However, this is not always the case because work injuries can occur in a variety of ways. Sometimes they are not even a physical problem but rather a psychological condition. Even in the case of physical injuries, they are not always apparent right away.
Some types of conditions can take years to show up. Anything you experience as a negative result of your work duties is part of a work injury. The bottom line is that a person should not assume that because they have no obvious cause and effect with an injury that it is not work-related.
Two common problems that may not show up for a long time include repetitive stress injuries and illnesses due to asbestos exposure.
The Cleveland Clinic explains that repetitive stress injuries occur after doing something consistently over time. It usually happens due to repeating a motion or holding the body in a certain position. An example is carpal tunnel syndrome, which may happen after spending years typing on a computer keyboard without proper wrist support. Such a condition will begin to cause pain due to the consistent exposure to the situation triggering the strain on the body.
Asbestos-related conditions take years to show up because the substance takes time to do damage to the body. OSHA explains asbestos is highly regulated due to its health hazards, but this does not remove all exposure. Some professions may still experience high exposure and be at risk. However, these workers will often not be aware they have had too much exposure until they begin suffering from an illness.