Realistically speaking, employers have the responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment for all their employees. This can include proper air ventilation, adequate thermal comfort level, and a workplace free from any hazards. However, there may be times that they take these factors for granted, making some of their employees sick.
Thus, if you’re an employee and you’ve developed an illness at work, below are the four things to do from the get-go:
- Notify Your Immediate Supervisor And The HR
If you’re not feeling well at work and your symptoms have become apparent, then it’s important to notify your immediate supervisor and the HR about it. This is especially true if you believe that your illness has been developed as a result of your workplace conditions.
By notifying the HR supervisor, you’ll be advised on what to do after sustaining a work-related illness. The notification can be beneficial if you file a workers’ compensation insurance claim. Primarily, workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides medical and monetary coverage to employees who become ill on the job.
But, before you can make a successful claim, be sure to inform in writing your supervisor and the HR regarding your situation. That way, you can ensure appropriate care and treatment under the workers’ compensation coverage by building a vital foundation for your claim.
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It’s also essential to get yourself checked after experiencing the symptoms of a work-related illness. When you seek immediate medical attention, you’ll know what type of illness you’ve developed at work and what are the treatments available to make you feel better.
For example, if you’ve been feeling unwell due to the substantial time spent in your contaminated workplace building, then you may have developed a building-related illness. It’s an illness that employees like you can get as a result of biological contaminants in the area, excessive electromagnetic radiation, noise, lighting, vibration, and many more.
Therefore, if you think you’ve suffered from an illness caused by poor building conditions, you should consult your doctor right away. That way, you’ll know what you need to know about the illness and how you can address it.
- Take Some Time Off From Work
After notifying your supervisor and the HR, it may be a good idea to take some time off from work. But, in doing this, you should notify your employer about this and make sure to get their approval to avoid problems in the future. To support the reason for taking some time off from work, you may present a certification from your physician that you’re diagnosed with a work-related illness.
Remember, when you take a leave of absence from work, you’re able to give yourself enough time to recover from your illness in the fastest time possible. For instance, you can take care of yourself by eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and following your doctor’s orders. Moreover, by taking a break from work, you can also protect your colleagues from getting infected in case your illness becomes contagious.
- Advise Your Employer To Know The Illness’s Cause And How To Address It
Another important thing to do when you’ve developed an illness at work is to protect your other workers from getting the same fate as yours. You can do this by advising your employer to determine the cause of the work-related illness. In some cases, it can be due to poor building environment triggered by a variety of factors. These can include poor amount of outside air ventilation, electromagnetic radiation, combustion gases, biological contaminants, volatile organic compounds, and many more.
Once your employer has determined the potential causes of the illness, the next step is to know how you can address them. For the circumstances mentioned above, there can be many ways to handle them to ensure they can’t make another employer sick in your work building. For example, your employer can do the following:
- Test your building’s outside air ventilation.
- Test for the presence of molds and contaminants in your drinking water.
- Test for the presence of asbestos, and if there is, get it removed as soon as possible.
- Manage hazardous chemicals more effectively.
- Disinfect, decontaminate, and clean your workplace.
The Bottom Line
Indeed, sustaining a work-related illness can be a frustrating experience. It doesn’t only affect your ability to earn a living, but it also impacts your whole life in the long run. Because of this, it’s important to keep the things mentioned above in mind so you’ll know what to do to protect yourself, your interests, and your colleagues from the effects of developing an illness at work.