What to Do If a Workplace is Making You Sick

Unhealthy jobs are everywhere, and in the United States, some of the unhealthiest jobs may surprise you. Ladders has a list of the unhealthiest jobs, and who ranks the highest for being unhealthy?

Most people wouldn’t guess that a dental hygienists’ job is worse than even a miner’s job. With a 72.8 rating for unhealthiness, this profession has the following scores (0 the lowest and 100 the highest):

  • 100 for exposure to infections and disease
  • 91 for exposure to radiation
  • 85 for time spent sitting

Even though the job of a hygienist pays $72,910 per year, it’s still a rather unhealthy field. But what can be done if your workplace is making you sick?

It depends.

Try to Eliminate Health and Sickness Factors

You can, and should, try to eliminate health and sickness factors. Using the previous example, we can recommend the following:

  • Proper safety gear can be used. Masks that cover the mouth and gloves are a great start because they will be able to lower the exposure to illness and disease. Following basic safety recommendations can go a long way in making sure that a job poses a much lower risk of making a person sick.
  • Radiation exposure is due to dental X-rays, and the key is to use the latest technology to limit exposure. If a workplace is not using the latest technology, it may be time to recommend a change to management. Employers have a duty to ensure a workplace is safe, and if a new technology can help, they may consider investing in it.
  • Sitting is a disease, and it is one that is impacting lives across the world. Desk jobs are becoming the norm, and this is leaving people with higher risks of heart attacks and blood clots, too. A key way to end sitting is to incorporate breaks where an employee is allowed to stand up and move around.

If a person is feeling sick every time they enter the workplace, there is a chance that the sickness is mold-related. Mold has been shown to make people sick, and long-term exposure is never good for your health.

Employers are required to ensure that indoor air quality is sufficient, and this is under the General Duty Clause. What this clause ensures is that workers have a workplace that is free from any known hazards.

Employers are required, by law, to offer an environment that meets health and occupational safety standards.

Employees also have the right to know what level of safety that they can expect. Immediate dangers in the workplace need to be made known to employees, and local and state regulations will apply.

Workers should breach any safety or health concerns with management. If management fails to listen to recommendations or take the matter seriously, employees can contact OSHA or can contact a lawyer.

If the workplace has led to lasting illness or injury, a person may be entitled to some form of compensation.

Lodge complaints, discuss matters with a legal professional and fight for your right to have a safe, healthy environment to work in.