When you take a deep breath, you do so assuming that the air you are inhaling is free of contamination by fumes or particles. Workers cannot always make that assumption on the job. Many employees have to routinely contend with major health hazards such as toxic fumes or harmful airborne particles.
Dealing with asbestos may trigger severe illnesses such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. You can be in an environment where there is concrete dust containing silica, which causes a medical condition called silicosis. If you develop an illness from what you inhaled, worker’s compensation can be helpful for you and your family
Guarding against respiratory hazards at work
Although no method of protection is foolproof, there are some basic things that can be done to keep workers safer. Using appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) such as respirators that are suitable for the task you are doing and the material you are working with is necessary.
Employees should learn the right way to wear and care for a respirator so it provides them with the highest level of protection. Your workplace should also have a comprehensive safety policy that everyone must follow.
What kinds of workplace situations pose inhalation dangers?
There are certain work situations and activities that are especially hazardous when it comes to inhaling fumes or particles. Anything that produces particles or fumes can be unhealthy, such as the following:
- Metal working
Being in an enclosed small area doing any of the above or in a smoky area can be dangerous. It may take prolonged, repeated exposure to develop a condition that is caused by any of these activities.
If you are dealing with a respiratory injury, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. This can cover your medical expenses and replace lost wages if you have to take time away from work. Workers’ comp claims can be complicated. You’re not always assured of getting the benefits to which you’re entitled. Having legal guidance can help you deal with the system so that you can focus on recovering.