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Can a workplace environment cause respiratory problems?

When you think of workplace accidents in Maryland, you may think of back sprains, broken bones, lacerations and traumatic brain damage. Many people don’t realize that respiratory issues can also be a concern for people who work in certain industries. Whether you are forced to work around strong chemicals or occasionally come into contact with pungent gases, you should make sure that you are protected from noxious fumes at work in order to avoid respiratory issues now or in the future.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, work environments that harbor dangerous fumes, smokes, vapors, mists or any other type of harmful chemicals should have certain safety measures in place to protect employees who work there. Areas that have these types of fumes should be enclosed and have proper ventilation. Furthermore, everyone who works in these areas should have respirators available as well.

In addition to ventilation and respirators, employers must provide employees with medical care and follow-up evaluations if they should become exposed to harmful fumes. All workers must be given training on how to safely engage in activities involving respiratory irritants, as well as what could happen should they not follow proper protocol.  

There are several jobs that pose a threat to workers’ respiratory systems. Health.com reported that the following careers may present a hazard to your lungs. These include:

  •          Manufacturing
  •          Construction
  •          Health care
  •          Painting

Furthermore, truckers and dock workers who are exposed to diesel exhaust fumes on a regular basis are more likely to be diagnosed with chronic lung conditions in the future.

This information is intended to educate and should not be used as legal advice. 

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