Any type of injury or illness that can prevent a worker from doing his or her job can make life difficult. In some instances the worker has to undergo expensive medical treatment or therapy in order to recover, creating a number of financial challenges.
Occupational disease or illnesses can affect employees even before they are aware of the problem. A group of University of Colorado workers believe that they are getting sick from mold in their office building, which also happens to be the engineering building on campus. Several of them have filed workers' compensation claims.
Six employees were concerned after exhibiting symptoms that included respiratory illness and blurry vision. Thinking the cause was mold, the employees approached the university to address the problem. According to one employee, the university has not made it a high priority to find out what is causing the employees' illnesses.
Employees are concerned that mold is the culprit. However, University officials have stated that no mold or other type of similar contaminant has been found in the area of concern. One spokesperson for the school noted that the university's Department of Environmental Health and Safety has not found anything that could cause the employees to get sick.
Currently, sick employees have been referred to a doctor to determine if the workers are affected by the same illness. But some of the employees are worried about returning to work, knowing that the cause of their symptoms is still unknown.
It is likely that the employees will only be given workers' compensation benefits if it is shown that something in their office was the cause of their illness.
Source: The Denver Channel online, "Mystery Illness Hits 6 CU Engineering Building Staffers," Alan Gathright, 22 June 2011