When most people think about workers' compensation claims, they imagine a worker who suffered a physical injury after some sort of on-the-job accident. In reality, though, the scope of permissible Colorado workers' compensation claims is much broader. For example, workers may be able to recover compensation after becoming ill as a result of exposure to hazardous or toxic substances in the workplace.
Recently, several employees at a nursing home in Loveland have filed for workers' compensation, claiming that they became ill as a result of being exposed to toxic mold.
The employees say they started getting sick this fall. A nursing assistant who agreed to speak publicly said that when she first got sick, she thought she had bronchitis or the flu. When the medicine her doctor prescribed didn't work, she began to worry.
Then, the worker says she started to notice she would feel better whenever she was away from the nursing home. She then began to wonder whether something at work was making her sick. After seeing mold at work, she brought the issue up with her doctor.
The doctor referred the worker to a doctor who specialized in handling workers' compensation claims. She is now undergoing a series of tests to support her claim.
A spokeswoman for the nursing home admitted that a test of the air in the facility revealed the presence of a "mold-like substance."
Exposure-related illnesses can take a number of different forms. Sometimes, as in this case, workers develop respiratory problems after prolonged exposure to toxic mold. In other cases, exposure to hazardous chemicals or asbestos can lead to cancer and other ailments.
If you think that you have become ill as a result of workplace exposure, know that you have a right to seek fair compensation for your injuries.
Source: Reporter Herald, "Mold Complaints Filed Against Loveland's Sierra Vista," Pamela Dickman, March 31, 2012.