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Tillman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Poor indoor air quality can make you sick on the job

The quality of the air in your workplace can make a big difference to your health. If the air quality is poor, you could experience a range of symptoms, some of which might lead to serious health issues. If you are missing work because of such illnesses and you can prove they are related to the air quality in your place of employment, you might have a case for a workers' compensation claim.

The trouble with such claims is that they can be difficult to prove, especially if very few other employees are having issues. Just because no one else has reported feeling ill because of the air doesn't mean you're crazy, though. Some people are more sensitive to others, and they become ill when problems are still minor.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health considers a building a "sick building" if at least 20 percent of the people who work in it report issues. Issues might include dizziness, nausea, headaches, chronic fatigue, swelling in ankles or legs, shortness of breath or numerous other physical issues.

One of the ways you can tell if the building or environment is at fault for your health concerns is if the symptoms ease when you aren't at work. For some people, symptoms are only present when they are in the building. For others, the issues build up and it takes a few days away from work for symptoms to stop. If you take leave or vacation and your symptoms go away only to return when you go back to work, then you might have a viable workers' comp case. Consider speaking to a lawyer about your options if you aren't sure how to proceed with your claim.

Source: WebMD, "Sick-Building Syndrome," accessed Nov. 04, 2016

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