Most workers are familiar with how their employer's workers' compensation insurance covers workplace injuries. Some forms of harm, however, are more insidious and slow-acting than a sudden accident or illness. If your workplace is not safe, you may qualify for benefits for occupational illness. Read on to learn more about how dangerous buildings can affect your health and prevent you from working at your job.
Sick Building Syndrome
Most employers are quick to address potential safety issues at work by holding classes, making rules, and posting signs to remind workers to be safe. Unfortunately, if the building where you spend several hours a day is unsafe, there is little you can do to protect yourself from that particular workplace hazard when it's unknown to you. The structure of a building, the furnishings, the flooring, and more can all contribute to a toxic work environment and cause sick building syndrome.
Toxins in the Air
No matter how old or new your workplace is, there is the potential for it to be dangerous to its inhabitants. The presence of any of the below can make workers sick, and it can sometimes take weeks or months for the workers to figure out what is causing their symptoms.
- Cleaning products
- Volatile organic compounds
The Symptoms to Watch For
These cases can be challenging to diagnose since the symptoms are general. If you suspect your building is sick, watch out for:
- Cough and throat irritation
- Itchy eyes and eye irritation
- Feeling extra tired
- Problems concentrating
Locate Witnesses and Other Victims
If you are feeling the effects of a sick building, you are likely not alone. Ask your coworkers about their own issues. If you can find others suffering from the same thing, you are far more likely to be successful in forcing change and being approved for workers' compensation benefits. Proving sick building syndrome as a cause for a work-related illness is becoming easier with more recognition, but it can still be a challenge. You must take action to be compensated and to force action by your employers. Take the following steps:
1. Locate other sufferers.
2. Seek medical care.
3. Inform your supervisor and see that a workers' comp claim form is filed.
4. Keep notes of the way the building environment is affecting you.
Speak to a workers' compensation attorney if your efforts to make changes or be approved for benefits are unsuccessful. Contact a local firm like the Law Offices Of Harry G Lasser to see if they can help you.