Even though COVID-19 is the main respiratory disease on everyone’s mind, it’s still important to remember to protect against other occupational respiratory illnesses.
Wearing proper protection, educating employees, and hiring occupational health and safety experts to find threats and screen employees go beyond just one disease. These are the top occupational respiratory illnesses that can occur without proper protection:
- Silicosis – a condition caused by exposure to respirable crystalline silica. Inhaled particles can scar the lung tissue. Immediate symptoms include shortened breath, chest pain, coughing, and fever. Silicosis can develop into several serious diseases such as lung cancer, bronchitis, COPD, or Tuberculosis.
- Mesothelioma – a type of cancer in the lungs, abdomen, or heart. The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fiber, which used to be a popular additive in manufacturing and building materials. Disturbing these materials in construction or shipbuilding can lead to inhalation and the formation of malignant tumors.
- Lung Cancer– This type of cancer can be caused by any chemicals that can be inhaled. Sure, we know about cigarettes, but common worksite byproducts can be just as harmful. Radon, asbestos, coal products, talc powder, silica, arsenic, and beryllium just to name a few.
- Occupational Asthma – This is one of the most common occupational diseases in the U.S. Persistent exposure to irritants such as hydrochloric acid, ammonia, and sulfur dioxide can spur on the symptoms of asthma. The body’s response to these harmful chemicals includes wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath, and increased allergic reactions.
Respiratory illnesses can be the most deadly because it is difficult for someone to know they’ve been exposed to harmful toxins. Medical surveillance testing is key to knowing if employees are being overexposed. This can keep workers safe and also avoid costly lawsuits and fines from OSHA.
Many of the root causes of the diseases listed above are harmful heavy metals including arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium. With Worksite Medical, a mobile lab unit can come directly to your site to provide screenings for respiratory illnesses to employees.
This is an efficient and effective way to test and make sure employees are healthy and the worksite is safe.
About Worksite Medical
In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.
Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.
We conduct on-site respirator fit tests (including N95 masks) and audiometric exams, as well as pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.
With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.
Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.
Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!