Many workers in Pennsylvania struggle on even when they are unwell, often because they cannot afford to take time off work. Some may even worry about losing their job if their employer does not appreciate the severity of their illness. In other cases, workers are dismissed from their position due to absence or poor performance, even though it was due to their illness.
It is an upsetting prospect, yet it is one that all too many individuals have to face. However, not only might your employer be breaking the law if they choose to dismiss you for being ill, but if your illness was caused by your job, you might be entitled to workers' compensation.
There are many ways people can become ill at work. If you are subjected to high temperatures, you could suffer from heatstroke or dehydration. Smoke-filled environments could affect your lungs and throat. Other toxic materials can cause lasting respiratory damage, skin complaints and even critical illnesses such as cancer.
As this article on hazardous substances explains, silica is one such material. Prolonged exposure to silica dust can cause tuberculosis, bronchitis, silicosis and even lung cancer. Particles of the dust can scar the lungs, making them less efficient and causing permanent damage.
If you have been exposed to silica at work, or you have developed an illness that you suspect has arisen as a consequence of your working conditions, you may be entitled to compensation. This also applies if you feel that your job has exacerbated an existing illness. An attorney could be extremely helpful in these circumstances as he or she can weigh up the details of your claim and may be able to support you through the legal process.