When you punch into work each day, you may not realize that your working environment can have an affect on your short-term and long-term health. You may be exposed to certain stimuli at work on a daily basis, which could in turn, take a toll on your overall physical wellbeing. One of the most common occupational injuries involves lung disease, asthma, pneumonia, silicosis and COPD. In fact, occupational lung diseases are the leading cause of work-related illnesses in the country, according to the American Lung Association. Yet, they are preventable, and employers are responsible for ensuring workers are able to perform in a safe work environment. 

Many industry workers are at risk of developing an occupational lung disease. For example, if you work in a garage, textile factory, at a construction site or mine, you may be exposed to a wide-range of dust, fibers, asbestos and dangerous chemicals. Your employer should make sure you are equipped with the proper filtration gear that will filter out any of these toxins, as even a single exposure to a hazardous toxin can cause damage to the lungs. 

The symptoms of lung disease may mimic that of a cold and include the following:

  • Tightness and pain in the chest

  • Shortness of breath

  • Coughing

  • Hard to breathe

It is critical that you are checked by a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms, especially if you are exposed to smoke, pollution or toxins in the workplace. 

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.