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Worker’s Compensation for Allergies

02-25-2019 11:30 AM CET | Politics, Law & Society

Press release from: Crowson Law Group

A man was employed at a chocolate factory for 2 years. At the end of his 2 year period he was transferred to a new factory site. It was after this transfer that he suffered excessive itching and swelling due to an allergic reaction to nuts which he unknowingly consumed in the office cafeteria. The basic question then is: should this employee be covered by worker’s compensation for the allergic reaction and injury sustained as a result of the transfer?

One article stated this as part of its introduction, “It is easy to understand why claims involving workers with allergies are questionable. Sneezing, itching, skin rashes and breathing problems are not like getting hit by a forklift or falling from a scaffolding - injuries which are known to be covered by worker’s compensation.” The reality is that the statements made in the outside of the article are true; unlike physical injuries such as scrapes, bruises and sprains, allergies may require evidence that they are connected to a specific environment and may not be compensate if they are a pre-existing condition.

The article went on to explain that the issue regarding allergies boils down to the principle known as a ‘positional risk’. This is mainly because there is an entire class of injuries that happen just because an individual is working in a specific spot. For example, an employee may get sick because of bad air in their office, or may become ill from an allergic reaction as a result of mold in their work space. The fact of the matter is that allergies are the same kind of injury suffered as a result of an employee being put in a position where they are unable to work because of something in that position that poses a serious risk to them.

One report shows that exposure to fumes, gases or dust cause 11% of asthma attacks worldwide. Looking at the percentage itself, there is significant time lost for both the worker and the employer because allergies have a direct effect on productivity and the business’ bottom line. Therefore, it is in the best interests of an employer to provide assistance where workers suffer such allergies.

In order for your allergies to be covered by worker’s compensation it is important that you are able to demonstrate that your employer placed you in a position where you were unprotected despite a high risk of triggers to a serious reaction. One article states that more severe allergies may be covered by worker’s compensation, such as that of the man in the introduction. If an individual suffers an allergic reaction to nuts that is near fatal and prevents them from working for a week due to the office cafeteria not providing warning of the contents of the dish, the employer is obligated to make accommodations for such an allergy. Additionally, if an employee suffers an asthma attack while working on a construction site that is not kept sufficiently clear of dust or whereby the employer has not provided the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the employee misses significant time at work such an allergy is compensable. 

A worker’s compensation lawyer stated the following, “With regard to pre-existing allergies that are seasonal ones such as rhinitis; these are not covered because the affliction usually is not serious enough to prevent the employee from working. However, that being said, worker allergies are often known before the worker is hired and as such the employer must make the appropriate adjustments. If the employer fails to do so such an employee may be compensated even for a pre-existing condition.” 
For representation on worker’s compensation claims, contact worker’s compensation lawyers in Anchorage Alaska

About the company:
Crowson Law Group is a law firm of renowned professionals who focus exclusively personal injury matters. For legal advice and representation for motorcycle accident settlements, [https://www.crowsonlaw.com/alaska-personal-injury-lawyers/motorcycle-accidents/] contact Crowson Law Group today.

Contact Information:
Address: Crowson Law Group, 637 A St.
Anchorage, AK 99501
Email: james@crowsonlaw.com
Phone: (907) 677-9393

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