When you think of an employee dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the first occupations that often come to mind are EMT, police officer or firefighter. Trauma, however, can occur in any occupation. It was that realization that led to a newly expanded bill to protect many Colorado workers.
Colorado workers in various industries might not realize that they could be exposed to asbestos, even though the Environmental Protection Agency has placed severe restrictions on products containing this dangerous mineral substance. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are workplace illnesses that typically require long-term medical treatment. If not diagnosed and treated, it could cause death.
Although Colorado workers in various industries are frequently exposed to workplace injury hazards, not all consequences are physical injuries. Injured workers can suffer the consequences of exposure to workplace illness threats that may not be immediately recognized as occupational. Exposure to extreme weather conditions can cause heat or cold-related illnesses, and workers in some occupations may suffer the consequences of radiation, blood-borne pathogens, welding flash and more.
Airline pilots and cabin crew members are consistently exposed to higher levels of ultraviolet radiation than the general population. This could explain why they face a significantly higher risk for developing melanoma. A comprehensive review of 19 study records involving more than 250,000 participants found that pilots and air crew have "twice the incidence of melanoma compared with the general population."
The smell of roasting coffee is one of the things that draw people to artisanal coffee shops. People who live or work around large-scale coffee roasting operations also enjoy this smell as they are out and about.
At first glance, custodial work may appear to be a low-stress and laid-back occupation. Many cleaners find that the work is not overly demanding in physical terms - it just requires diligence and thoroughness. Custodial work performed in office buildings is rarely dangerous. Often, cleaners work in the evening after other workers have gone home and many cleaners work with minimal supervision.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently issued a reminder that employers nationwide, including in Colorado, should not lose sight of the hazards of environmental heat exposure even though summer is winding down. Heat illness can occur at any time, and of all reports about employees being injured at work during this time, a significant percentage involved heat exposure. The same goes for on-the-job fatalities.
Heavier than normal work activities can result in a heart attack, even in a person who does not exhibit any signs of heart problems. In the parlance of the Colorado workers' compensation system, this is known as "unusual exertion". When unusual exertion does cause a heart attack, a worker can claim workers' compensation benefits, though such cases are often contested by insurance companies.
Asthma: Anyone who has it or knows someone who suffers from the affliction is aware of asthma's frightening effects. Out of the blue, an asthma sufferer can start coughing, wheezing or gasping for breath. Often, a sufferer must stop everything he or she is doing and seek relief from an inhaler. When an asthma attack happens to a person who is performing a critical function such as driving or operating heavy equipment, it could result in a serious accident.
Boss, this work uniform makes me sick. Literally.