A. As used in this title, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the term "occupational disease" means a disease arising out of and in the course of employment, but not an ordinary disease of life to which the general public is exposed outside of the employment.
B. A disease shall be deemed to arise out of the employment only if there is apparent to the rational mind, upon consideration of all the circumstances:
1. A direct causal connection between the conditions under which work is performed and the occupational disease;
2. It can be seen to have followed as a natural incident of the work as a result of the exposure occasioned by the nature of the employment;
3. It can be fairly traced to the employment as the proximate cause;
4. It is neither a disease to which an employee may have had substantial exposure outside of the employment, nor any condition of the neck, back or spinal column;
5. It is incidental to the character of the business and not independent of the relation of employer and employee; and
6. It had its origin in a risk connected with the employment and flowed from that source as a natural consequence, though it need not have been foreseen or expected before its contraction.
C. Hearing loss and the condition of carpal tunnel syndrome are not occupational diseases but are ordinary diseases of life as defined in § 65.2-401.
Code 1950, § 65-42; 1952, c. 603; 1968, c. 660, § 65.1-46; 1970, c. 470; 1986, c. 378; 1991, c. 355; 1997, cc. 15, 405.