As well as being extremely unsightly, damp and mould in the home or office can pose significant risks to your health. In terms of causing illness at work, it’s a genuine concern for employers and staff alike.
How can mould and damp cause accidents at work?
Rather than work accidents in the typical sense, i.e. physical injuries from trips and falls and the like, mould and damp can cause health problems over time. This can make the presence of damp more problematic and dangerous than hazards such as loose wires as the symptoms build up and may not be noticeable until it is too late.
What health issues do damp and mould cause?
Typical symptoms of exposure to mould include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- Sinus congestion.
- Nasal congestion or runny nose.
- Irritation in the eyes, including redness, itchiness and watery eyes.
- Breathing difficulties such as wheezing and a tight chest.
- Persistent coughs and sore throats.
- Rashes and skin irritations.
- Fits of sneezing.
The most serious risks to health at work are caused by moulds which produce mycotoxins. Known as toxic moulds, prolonged exposure, such as daily in the workplace, to these substances can cause serious ill health at work and even lead to death if the symptoms are not caught in time.
Other mould-associated conditions include asthma and asthmatic episodes.
How can exposure to mould at work be prevented?
Mould and damp thrives in certain conditions. This includes humid air. Flooding and water damage create the perfect environment for mould to prosper. Something as simple as purchasing a dehumidifier can cause a significant reduction in the presence of mould and the associated health problems.
Who is responsible for keeping the workplace free of mould?
Employers and organisations have a duty and responsibility to ensure their staff can perform their tasks safely and properly in a work environment which meets the required safety standards. If these standards are not met and illnesses at work are suffered as a result, then staff may be due work illness compensation.
If you suffer from work-related health problems, then call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500. Our legal team has over 15 years’ experience in handling personal injury claims, including accidents at work, on the road and public trips and falls. The freephone is available 24/7 and theres no obligation to continue.
Date Published: May 1, 2014
Author: David Brown