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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C.
Helping Injured Workers In Arizona Since 1973

Exposure to smoking and workers' compensation

There are many ways in which an Arizona resident can become exposed to a safety hazard at work. Some jobs require the handling of toxic materials, while other workplace environments may contain hazardous materials that may be unknown to workers until they fall ill. Sometimes, too, the presence of some type of health risk may worsen a preexisting condition, making it challenging for the victim to identify the cause of their worsening condition. If it can be proven that the presence of a health hazard resulted in medical problems or the worsening of a health condition, victims may be eligible for workers' compensation.

One health risk that workers may be exposed to is secondhand tobacco smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke is associated with a number of health problems as it contains carcinogens and toxins that are dangerous to humans. In some work environments, it is impossible to avoid environmental tobacco smoke, making it possible for a worker to fall ill as a result of exposure.

If a worker falls ill as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, it may be possible for that worker to obtain workers' compensation. In order to obtain workers' compensation, a worker must prove that there is a direct link between the illness and the exposure to secondhand tobacco. A person may do so by displaying a sensitivity to environmental tobacco, or providing evidence related to a medical condition that is known to be caused or exacerbated by tobacco.

Knowing the ins and outs of workers' compensation laws often requires an expert. Thankfully, there are attorneys available who can help victims understand their rights and the options available to them.

Source: FindLaw, "Smoking in the Workplace and Workers' Compensation," Accessed on Jan. 26, 2015

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