Workers often take their lung health for granted. To shine the spotlight on the importance of lung health on and off the job, employers should remind workers about lung wellness and the safety measures and regulations to help keep lungs working at maximum capacity.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has several regulations and standards regarding respiratory protection. These guidelines and expectations help companies protect their employees. From preventing tuberculosis to setting rules for cleaning respiratory safety equipment, OSHA assists organizations in preventing potential lung diseases.
Common Work-Related Lung Diseases
Every year, millions of employees are diagnosed with lung-related illnesses, some of which can be connected to their professions. Emergency medical personnel may be exposed to asbestos, which can lead to mesothelioma, a cancer of the lungs. Other commonly reported lung problems among workers include chronic bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), fibrotic lung disease, pneumonitis, lung infections, lung cancer, silicosis, and byssinosis. Medical experts typically find and diagnosis these lung issues through a variety of tests, including pulmonary function examinations, comprehensive x-rays or MRIs, bronchoscopies, biopsies, and CT scans. Unfortunately, many work-related lung problems cannot be treated. However, they can be managed with the right type of intervention.
Tips for Avoiding Known Irritants at Work
Although workers cannot always avoid lung irritants, they can take steps to ensure that they limit their exposure to airborne toxins. Avoid smoking and taking breaks around smokers. Second-hand smoke can be very damaging to the lining of the lungs and can lead to lung cancer. Notifying management of poor ventilation in an office space can also help. Office spaces with stale air can exacerbate existing conditions, such as allergies and asthma. Managers may not realize their workplace has these concerns without being alerted by staff members.
All personnel should use respiratory safety equipment as outlined in their training manuals. If face masks are issued, they should put them on when appropriate, even if other teammates do not. If they do not know which tools or equipment to use, or when to use them, they should contact a supervisor for more information. Any worker who notices shortness of breath, wheezing, or other respiratory danger signs should make an appointment with a physician immediately.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Fight for Workers Who Have Sustained Occupational Illnesses
If you suffered an occupational illness due to hazardous conditions at work, contact a Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyer at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP to discuss your options. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken. Call us at 856-761-3773 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation today.