Can You Obtain Workers’ Compensation if You Were Exposed to Mold in the Workplace?
Florida is known to have some of the most humid cities in the United States. Florida’s humid climate and frequent heavy rains make the state an ideal environment for mold growth.
Unfortunately, many Floridians underestimate the dangers of mold exposure. The problem of exposure to mold at home and work is often overlooked. What many do not realize is that exposure to mold can be the underlying cause of many serious health conditions and illnesses.
But can you seek workers’ compensation benefits if you were exposed to black mold in the workplace? Are you eligible to receive workers’ comp if you can prove that mold exposure caused your injury or illness in Florida?
Signs of Mold Poisoning and Other Conditions Related to Mold Exposure
Prolonged exposure to black mold spores in the workplace can cause a worker to develop mold poisoning. Signs of mold poisoning include:
- Allergic reaction (sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, dry skin, coughing, and others)
- Unexplained body pains
- Frequent headaches
- Problems with memory
- Mood swings
- Difficulty breathing
- Respiratory failures
People with asthma, weakened immune systems, and certain lung diseases are more prone to developing mold poisoning.
How to Tell if You Were Exposed to Black Mold in the Workplace?
There are different strains of mold that can grow indoors, which is why it would be difficult to tell if you were exposed to black mold or other dangerous forms of mold that can cause serious illnesses and injuries.
In most cases, a lab test is required in order to tell the difference between black mold and other strains of mold in the workplace. In fact, most strains look the same (black or dark green). For this reason, if you see mold anywhere in the workplace, you should inform your employer or supervisor right away.
Also, if you noticed any signs of mold poisoning, be sure to tell your employer/supervisor about it. Just because you do not see mold does not mean that it is not there. Watch out for the following warning signs that indicate exposure to mold in the workplace:
- Musty smell in the air in a particular room or area of the workplace
- Discolored walls or ceiling tiles
- Unexplained skin rashes
- Unexplained coughing, allergic reactions, or fatigue
Obtaining Workers’ Compensation for Mold Exposure at Work
Under Florida law, employers have a legal obligation to provide a clean and sanitary environment to their workers and eliminate any hazards that could cause harm to employees. Dangerous mold growth in the workplace is one of those hazards.
If you develop any symptoms of mold exposure in the workplace, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, this would require you to prove that you were exposed to mold at work, rather than somewhere else. It is advised to contact a Tampa workers’ compensation attorney to review your particular situation and determine whether you are entitled to workers’ comp in your case. Reach out to Kobal Law for a consultation by calling at 813-873-2440.