Other than your home, you probably spend the greatest percentage of your waking hours at work. This means that you’re constantly breathing the air and any contaminants that may be in it. As a result, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers air quality to be one of the most important things to think about when trying to prevent injury and illness on the job.
However, many workers may not have ever considered the quality of the air. They assume workplace injuries are things like a broken arm or a head injury after a fall. Factors like air quality tend to get overlooked, and that can be very problematic.
What symptoms can it cause?
Simply having air that isn’t clean enough can lead to a whole variety of symptoms that could be detrimental to someone’s life. In some cases, this can include issues like asthma, which are potentially fatal. But OSHA also notes that poor air quality has been linked to throat and lung irritation, eye and nose irritation, difficulty concentrating on the task at hand, excessive fatigue and headaches, just to name a few.
Could the issue be more serious?
In some situations, the air quality at work is a much more serious problem because it’s going to go beyond just causing irritation or other minor symptoms. It could even lead to diseases that may prove to be fatal.
For instance, if asbestos was used in the construction of the building, and it’s not been properly removed, you could be breathing in particles every day. This can lead to a whole host of issues, including a type of aggressive cancer known as mesothelioma.
Another issue could be if there is radon in the building that has not been diagnosed. Without proper mediation, constant exposure to radon can also lead to cancer. Many workers may be exposed to these types of risks every day, for decades, without even realizing how much damage they’re doing.
If something like this happens to you, you must understand all of the legal options at your disposal.