After any work-related illness or injury, reporting it to your employer is crucial. Not only will this affect your options for collecting workers’ compensation to help you with recovery, but creating a record of an incident could shed light on a more pervasive issue that might be endangering others you work with.
Fatal infection tied to workplace conditions
One grim reminder of the toll workplace hazards can take on workers is a case right here in Michigan. A paper mill worker died after developing a fungal infection. Reports tied the infection to a fungus known to grow in decomposing wood, leaves and moist soil.
People who breathe in the spores can develop a blastomycosis infection. They typically develop symptoms such as cough, fever, joint pain and shortness of breath.
An investigation revealed that over 100 people working in the same papermill have confirmed or probable infection; more than a dozen have been hospitalized, and one worker died.
The mill has temporarily closed down so that they can complete a deep cleaning.
Getting sick on the job may be something you are tempted to brush off. However, it could be a sign of serious, dangerous conditions that are putting workers at risk.
This is why it can be vital for workers to see their doctors and report an illness to their employer right away. Doing so can help these parties investigate the cause and take action. Immediate medical attention can improve treatments and keep a condition from worsening. Reporting the case to your employer puts the impetus on them to investigate and eliminate any conditions that put you and others in danger.
Too often, injured workers don’t take a work-related condition seriously until it becomes incredibly painful or they wind up in the hospital.
However, you need not wait for an injury or illness to become debilitating or worse. Reporting it right away and seeking treatment can make it easier to secure workers’ compensation benefits you are eligible for. Further, it can alert your employer and others to a potentially widespread issue that could continue to harm people.