Toxic mold is an overlooked workplace safety hazard capable of causing severe illness among workers. These fungi can develop after heavy rain, during humid weather or following water damage. For indoor workers, the hazards caused by mold are especially significant. This is because molds sometimes release secondary toxic metabolites known as mycotoxins that affect the air quality of enclosed spaces. Depending on the circumstances, workers can develop the following symptoms or illnesses from workplace mold exposure.
- Sneezing and coughing
- Runny nose
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Dry skin
- Kidney problems
The length of exposure and preexisting conditions of workers (compromised immune system or asthma) can also influence the severity of illness or development of other diseases.
Can Employers Prevent Workplace Mold Exposure?
Employers are required to provide safe workplaces
, meaning they must address issues that create unsafe air quality. The following actions may prevent mold development:
- Inspecting the building’s HVAC systems for humidity and mold.
- Replacing materials that show signs of water damage. Both employers and workers can point out water damage and mold growth.
- Creating an Indoor Environmental Quality program. This program would evaluate hazards that cause mold development, improve ventilation and coordinate with health professionals to meet with affected workers– just to name a few examples.
Can You Receive Workers Compensation for Workplace Mold Exposure?
Workers suffering from illnesses caused by mold exposure may need time off from work to recover. Some may be unable to return to their careers after developing permanent health conditions.
The Ohio workers’ comp attorney
s at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC can help workers affected by mold exposure discover options for compensation. These options may help cover medical bills and lost income.