Employees taking time off to recover from work-related illnesses may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. You may file a claim if exposure to your job’s toxic environment resulted in a disease or an affliction.
The U.S. Department of Labor notes that federal regulations cover the materials and equipment used to perform your duties. If, for example, a machine releases fumes that could cause an illness, you may apply for workers’ comp to receive treatment.
Harmful contaminants may stay with employees
Toxic substances at work may not cause immediate symptoms. You may, however, become ill after repeated or long-term exposure. As reported by OHS Online, public health researchers discovered that employees may also carry dangerous substances back to their homes.
Construction workers face a high risk of building up to an illness caused by on-the-job contaminants. Agricultural employees working with certain pesticides could bring harmful toxins home.
Severe illnesses may develop from long-term exposure
Because toxins build up over time, you may experience a sudden and severe illness several years after your first exposure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms of some occupational illnesses could take decades to appear.
You may apply for workers’ comp if you experience symptoms and believe handling work-related toxins caused them. Although employers must provide safety training, you may qualify for benefits without proving you used a hazardous chemical safely.
Jobs requiring the use of harmful substances must provide relief when a work-related illness causes employees to take time off. If you begin experiencing symptoms of an occupational illness, workers’ comp may provide for your health care, rehabilitation and loss of income.