The common cold is remarkable when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits claims: it operates both as a sign of potentially unsafe conditions and as an accelerant for conditions that could keep employees out of work.
For example, one physician notes that while one or two colds per year isn’t an issue, two or three times that number is likely the sign of a chronic condition like allergies. Keeping track of how many times this occurs can help employees track down causes; if they environmental it could be a result of workplace conditions, or seasonal pollen.
The upside of colds is that there are a number of ways to minimize the chances of getting one. Using liquid hand sanitizers on a regular basis can help minimize contact with viruses as well as dust and other materials that can lead to allergies, colds and other illnesses that make you miss work.
Workers can also benefit from colds if they are a sign of unsafe work conditions. For example, someone might get a cold but later develop symptoms of respiratory illnesses that may be a sign of toxic chemical exposure.
Trying to keep a journal of what causes you to lose days at work can help if your condition is the result of a work area chemical that could necessitate you applying for a workers’ compensation claim. Keep in mind that in addition to other factors we’ve mentioned, being a shift worker can also increase the likelihood of work-related disease and or injury.