Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow. This often leads to shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. It is believed that asthma is inherited genetically.
Asthma and Workers’ Compensation
If you approach your employer about receiving Pennsylvania workers’ compensation for your asthma, they may deny your claim. In situations such as these, many employers will say that, since you had asthma before you began working there, it is not the employer’s responsibility to cover your medical bills. This, however, is not true.
Situations such as these fall under aggravation of pre-existing conditions. Aggravation of pre-existing conditions is when a former injury and/or illness is made worse or brought back because of someone’s working conditions. Injuries such as these are absolutely covered by Pennsylvania workers’ compensation.
However, it is also possible for employees to experience work-related asthma, which describes cases where the worker did not have asthma until they began working in their field. These cases are also covered by PA workers’ comp, and are usually easier to receive benefits for.
Types of Conditions
Those that are at the most risk for experiencing work-related asthma symptoms usually work in a field that involves fumes, chemicals, or lots of movement. Common examples include paper mills, hydrofracking, gas drilling, chemical plants, and construction.
Anybody that works around fumes needs to wear proper respiratory protection. This includes both masks and goggles. Also, anyone with asthma, regardless of how long you have had it under control, should have an inhaler with them on the jobsite at all times.
If you and your coworkers know you will be exposed to fumes and chemicals for a long period of time, try rotating and taking frequent breaks. If anyone starts having trouble breathing, coughing, wheezing, or feeling light-headed, make sure that they step away immediately.
If you have been injured on the job and your claim has been denied, contact PAWorkersCompHelpNow for a free consultation. Do not miss out on the benefits you are entitled to. Call us today at (717) 234-2402.