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Workers' compensation -- the danger of smoke inhalation

Wildfires have been raging in California, accompanied by heavy smoke. Employers who disregard the dangers of wildfire smoke may end up having to answer to California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. An employee may opt to file a workers' compensation claim if he or she has suffered this type of injury on the job.

The smoke which billows into the air from a wildfire contains many fine particles, chemicals and gases. The fine particles are the most dangerous, because inhaling them reduces lung capacity and may even worsen pre-existing conditions of the heart and lungs, as well as asthma. Inhalation may cause difficulty in breathing, wheezing and coughing.

When an employee is required to work outside during a wildfire, the employer must familiarize him or herself with the applicable rules and standards to make sure that the air outside is not considered harmful to the worker. It is if the air contains so many contaminants that there is a possibility of impairment or illness. Employers can protect their employees by providing respirators, changing work schedules and procedures, or even moving the work site to lessen exposure to polluted air.

Workplace safety comes first. California employees who believe their employer did not take the necessary precautions to protect them from a harmful work environment may benefit from consulting with a lawyer on the matter, especially if they suffered injury as a result. An experienced workers' compensation lawyer is in the ideal position to evaluate each individual case and provide guidance and ongoing support in order to pursue legal recourse.

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Law Offices of William W. Green & Associates
505 S. Villa Real
Anaheim, CA 92807

Phone: 714-464-6903
Toll Free: 866-543-7598
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