No one is immune to the possibility of injury in the workplace as the result of accidents. Many jobs come with the risk of occupational illness, which can be summed up as the impairment of a worker as a result of something physical, chemical or biological in the workplace. However, it is the responsibility of employers to provide adequate training and safety equipment and to ensure that workers are safe in their work environment.
In a recent case in New York, three teachers have been diagnosed with mold-related illnesses. These illnesses are thought to have been caused by the poorly maintained environment in which they work. Several teachers from Lawrence High School have voiced concerns over the mold that has spread through the building in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The New York State Committee for Occupational Safety and Health has been invited by the Lawrence Teacher’s Association to investigate the problem. However, district officials hired Olmsted Environmental Services Inc. to run air quality tests within the school. Staff at the school worry that the conditions could be detrimental to their own health and that of the students.
Contracting an illness at work is a particularly difficult matter to handle. Not only are you left unwell, possibly facing long-term effects, but you may also be unable to work. This loss of income combined with medical expenses can be a huge strain.
The teachers from this New York school may wish to seek compensation for the illnesses they acquired. Being subjected to an unsafe working environment is not acceptable. If you feel that your illness has arisen from your job, especially if it is as the result of insufficient safety precautions, it is important to act. With the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney, you can have the matter properly investigated and challenge your employer in order to pursue the remuneration you deserve.
Source: Newsday, “Air quality tests conducted at Lawrence High School,” Joie Tyrrell, April 8, 2014