When you think of injuries in the workplace, you likely think of the sprains, strains and breaks that come with trips and falls. More practically, workplace injuries come in a variety of types and from many sources.
While you may hope that the air in your workplace is clean and safe, many industries work with materials and chemicals that can get in the air and cause damage. Initially, the symptoms tend to be easy to dismiss, but they can lead to serious problems without treatment.
Here’s what you should know about inhalation injuries at work.
Spotting inhalation injury
Inhalation injuries are not exclusive to fires. You can suffer inhalation injuries from exposure to chemical fumes and small dust-sizes particles. These injuries tend to come with symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath
If you work in a place with potential inhalation hazards, you must talk to your employer and seek care for your symptoms since these injuries can worsen without treatment.
Do other people have to have symptoms?
There do not need to be other people at work with inhalation injury symptoms for you to have a workers’ compensation claim. Smoke, chemical fumes and other toxic inhalants can impact everyone differently. Also, your other coworkers may not be aware of the cause of their symptoms.
Inhalation injuries can cause long-term damage and require substantial treatment, so it is important to talk to your employer about your exposure and get appropriate medical treatment. If a hazard at work caused your injury, you may be entitled to benefits that could support your treatment and recovery.