Where The Injured
Go To Protect Their Rights

Workers’ compensation: Wildfires pose severe health hazards

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2018 | Workers' Compensation |

With the wildfires in different areas of California, it is not only firefighters but also all other workers whose health is threatened. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued advisories with guidelines to help employers to keep their workers safe. Although the toxic smoke in the air poses a more severe threat to outdoor workers, precautions must also be taken to protect workers in enclosed areas. Many workers’ compensation claims will likely follow the devastating seasonal wildfires.

To protect indoor employees and those in vehicles from harmful wildfire smoke, employers must establish and implement workable modifications to ensure the proper filtration of air. Employers are asked to review work schedules and modify them to limit the time employees spend working outdoors. Those who have to work in circumstances in which they are exposed to hazardous smoke must be equipped with safety approved respirators.

Wildfire smoke will cause wheezing and coughing, and exposed workers might experience breathing difficulties. Those who have existing conditions like asthma or other lung diseases will be more vulnerable. However, the tiny particles that fill the air pose the most significant hazard. These toxic bits are breathed in along with hazardous chemical and gas fumes to settle in the lungs of workers. Long-term health problems can result.

California workers who are adversely affected by wildfire smoke may need medical treatment, and they might even be unable to return to work for some time. Fortunately, they need not be concerned about the financial consequences while they recover. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can set the wheels in motion to file benefits claims. The state-regulated insurance program will cover medical expenses and lost wages, and the attorney might secure other benefits if their employer chooses to close the business temporarily.