For many Pennsylvania employees, mold in the workplace is a serious health hazard. Not only can it cause health problems in the respiratory system, but the symptoms can be so severe that people may be unable to get their work done. If the workplace is in a high-humidity area or the building is susceptible to water leaks and dampness, supervisors and managers should be on the lookout for mold.
The best way to prevent mold is for managers or supervisors to take employee concerns seriously. If an employee reports a musty odor or finds dampness and leaks, the problem should be mitigated as soon as possible. Workers should be instructed to inform managers or supervisors if they see any signs of flooding or poor ventilation as mold problems are more likely to occur. If the feel ill, they should be encouraged to visit their doctor to determine if the issues could be caused by mold.
There are things that managers and supervisors can do to help prevent potential mold problems. For example, they can have their HVAC systems regularly inspected and maintained, replace building materials that appear damp or have a musty odor and create an Environmental Quality program to help keep the indoor environment as safe as possible.
People who become ill after working in a damp environment and must miss work due to their illness, they may be eligible to seek workers’ compensation benefits. In order to be eligible for these benefits, the employee may be required to prove that the illness was caused by the building or hazardous work environment. Having the assistance of an attorney may be advisable, as establishing the link between an illness and working conditions is often far more difficult than in the case of an on-the-job injury accident.