Is your workplace susceptible to dampness, floods, or water leaks? If so, you are at high risk for mold exposure.
Mold exposure has several adverse outcomes, such as respiratory infections, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, allergic alveolitis, rhinosinusitis, etc. Let’s discuss what you should know about mold exposure and what to do if you’re exposed to mold at work.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus species that thrives in damp and humid conditions. This fungus can grow on various surfaces and can be found everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. The most common molds found in the workplace include Fusarium, Aspergillus, Cladosporium, and Penicillium.
How Does Mold Get Into a Workplace Building?
Mold spores can find their way into your workplace building through vents, heating and cooling systems, windows, and doorways. The spores can also attach themselves to workers’ clothes or shoes and be carried into the workplace. You can often find mold in water-damaged drywalls, wood material, and cardboards.
Under the OSH Act and, by extension Melina Bill, employers have a duty to provide and maintain a workplace free from mold contamination and other toxic substances. This means that if there’s a mold problem in the workplace, the employer should assess the risks associated with the mold infestation and take all necessary precautions to prevent exposure to risks.
How Can You Tell if You Have Mold in Your Workplace?
There are numerous ways to tell if you have a mold problem in your workplace. The most obvious sign is seeing mold growth in your workplace building. Mold also produces a musty, earthy odor.
If you suspect your workplace has a mold problem, you should report your concerns to your supervisor, who’ll then inform the manager. The manager should then contact a professional to determine if the mold is harmful to employees’ health.
Signs of Mold Exposure
It’s worth noting that some people are more sensitive to mold than others. If you are sensitive to mold, you may exhibit at least one of these symptoms — according to the CDC:
- Runny nose
- Skin rash
- Cough and chills
- Red or itchy eyes
Your symptoms may be more intense if you have a mold allergy or severe respiratory condition such as asthma. Intense symptoms may include fever and shortness of breath.
What to Do if You Get Exposed to Mold at Work
If you develop health issues due to mold exposure in your workplace, you may be eligible for Workers’ Comp benefits.
However, getting your workers’ comp claim approved is not as easy as it sounds. Why? Well, mold, just like any other fungus, grows pretty everywhere, so you have to prove that there’s a connection between your illness and the moldy condition in your workplace. This may be difficult if you go it alone; however, an experienced attorney can help you prove the connection between your workplace exposure and your illness.
Missouri Workers Compensation Attorney
If you developed health issues due to mold exposure in the workplace and want to pursue a workers’ comp claim, you don’t have to do it alone. Contact the experienced legal team at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann for a free case evaluation.
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