When a worker is exposed to a workplace condition that is damaging to his or her health, the result is often that he or she is unable to continue in the position. Highly individualized reactions to working conditions such as allergic reactions can be tricky to deal with since employers and insurance providers are going to be keen to limit their liability for workers’ compensation benefits if they cannot eliminate the cause of the reaction or if the worker leaves the company because of an inability to tolerate the work environment. In these cases, it is sometimes necessary for a worker to put up a fight to ensure they receive the full benefits due to them.
A good example of this is a recent case involving a Pennsylvania nurse who suffered a severe allergic reaction to a specific chemical used in the floor wax at the facility where she worked. As a result of her reaction, she was forced to seek treatment severe asthma, take multiple weeks of work off, and ultimately seek employment elsewhere.
Although she was awarded benefits to cover medical costs and wage loss, her benefits were cut short due to the fact that her condition was deemed to have resolved. Upon appeal, however, that decision was struck down and she was awarded additional benefits since her allergic reaction had only ceased due to the fact that she was no longer exposed to the work environment that caused it and she would have had a recurrence if she was exposed to the floor wax again.
In our next post, we’ll take a further look at total and partial disability benefits in Pennsylvania and the importance of working with an experienced attorney to ensure one receives the full benefits to which one is entitled in these cases.
Source: Business Insurance, “Nurse allergic to floor wax qualifies for workers comp,” Sheena Harrison, Mar. 26, 2015.