Bloodborne Pathogens in the Workplace
Bloodborne pathogens, which are found in human blood and can cause diseases or infections by being spread from person to person, can give a worker cause to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Typically, people associate workers’ compensation claims with falls at work, back problems as a result of an unsafe desk environment, or being hit by objects if the worksite is a construction site. Rarely does anyone think about diseases that can be contracted as a result of an unsafe workplace.
What Are the Most Common Bloodborne Pathogens?
- Hepatitis B (HBV)
- Hepatitis C (HCV)
- And human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
How Do Workers Get Exposed to Bloodborne Pathogens?
Workers are exposed to these pathogens through:
- And other sharp objects
What Is the Most Common Way a Bloodborne Pathogen Is Transmitted in the Workplace?
You may be more at risk to contract a bloodborne pathogen if you work with:
- Knives and kitchen utensils, common objects in the foodservice industry
- Tools, metals, and wood products, which are often associated with maintenance and janitorial staff
- Syringes, which are associated with medical professionals and school nurses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those most likely to be exposed to blood include “health care workers, emergency response and public safety personnel, and other workers… through needlestick and other sharp injuries, mucous membrane, and skin exposures.”
In such environments, employers are expected to provide:
- And trash areas designated for this type of waste
Employees should also be trained on how to dispose of the waste.
Your Rights as a Worker
If you’re a worker who contracted a disease or infection from an unsanitary environment, you must seek medical attention and hire a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.
As a worker, you have basic rights, which include:
- The right to work in a safe environment
- Receiving training on any workplace hazards and how to prevent them
- File a complaint for OSHA to inspect your workplace if you believe there to be a hazard
- Exercising your rights without retaliation from your employer
If you report your dangerous work environment, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for this action, which is known as retaliation. Our team can help you file your complaint and fight for your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Protecting Your Rights – From Claim to Court
At Leigh Law Firm, we’re devoted to protecting the rights of the injured. If you’re hesitant about filing a workers’ compensation claim for fear of losing your job, call us. Because a work-related injury is considered a disability, your employer is not allowed to retaliate against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If they do, they’re breaking the law, and we can file a lawsuit if necessary. Our lawyer makes sure all his clients feel understood and that their well-being is put first. Your injuries aren’t your fault, and you shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s negligence.
If you’ve contracted a disease or infection as a result of an unsafe work environment, don’t hesitate to call Leigh Law Firm at (619) 473-7569, or contact us online. Our experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney, Alexander J. Leigh, is devoted to fighting for his client's rights to a full recovery.