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Does Workers’ Comp Cover Conditions That Result From Poor Air Quality?

Unfortunately, many workers are exposed to harmful air pollution daily without even realizing it. This exposure has been linked to many severe health problems.

worker with a cough

You may not think much of it, but the air quality in your workplace can have a tremendous impact on your health. In fact, exposure to certain airborne contaminants has been linked to various health problems, including respiratory illnesses, heart disease, cancer, and other serious conditions. Unfortunately, many workers are exposed to harmful air pollution daily without even realizing it. This leads to the question: if you suffer an injury or illness due to poor air quality at work, will workers’ compensation cover it?

Before we answer that question, let’s look at how poor air quality can affect your health.

How Air Quality Can Affect a Worker’s Health

Air pollution comprises a mixture of solid particles and gases suspended in the air. These contaminants, which include dust, fumes, gases, and smoke, come from various sources, including vehicle exhaust, power plants, industrial facilities, welding equipment, factory machinery, and even office printers.

Air quality issues are also common where there is:

  • A broken ventilation system
  • A contaminated ventilation system
  • Poor maintenance of the HVAC system
  • Dampness due to leaks or humidity

Sadly, exposure to poor air quality has been linked to respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Additionally, research has shown that exposure to air pollution can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

“How Do I Know If the Air Quality in My Workplace Is Poor?”

There are a few different ways to tell if the air quality in your workplace is poor. Pay attention to any changes in your health, such as:

  • Respiratory problems (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath)
  • Eye irritation (redness, itchiness, watering)
  • Skin irritation (rashes, hives, itchiness)
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

If you notice any of these changes after starting a new job or after being in a particular workplace area, it’s important to speak up and ask questions. You have the right to know about any potential health hazards in your workplace, and your employer has a responsibility to provide you with a safe work environment.

What Does This Have to Do with Workers’ Compensation?

If you suffer an injury or illness as a direct result of exposure to harmful air pollutants at work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and, in some cases, death benefits.

Of course, each workers’ compensation claim is different, and the benefits you may be entitled to will depend on various factors. For example, if your exposure to air pollution was due to an employer’s gross negligence, you may be entitled to additional compensation.

If you’ve been injured or become ill due to exposure to poor air quality at work, it’s important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. An attorney can also help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim and ensure that you receive the full amount of benefits you’re entitled to.

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

Have you been injured or made ill by exposure to poor air quality at work? The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Office of James. M. Hoffman can help. We have over 30 years of experience handling workers’ compensation claims, including those involving exposure to hazardous substances and can get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Updated: May 17, 2022