The shocking air quality concern plaguing public transit workers

On Behalf of | Oct 3, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

There are potential job-related hazards associated with every profession. Construction workers frequently suffer harm as a result of falls, while nurses experience back injuries at a shocking rate due to the need to lift patients. 

These sources of harm are relatively obvious, given the job duties of the affected professionals. Yet, some work-related hazards aren’t always immediately apparent. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to keep up with news related to job safety within your chosen profession. What you could learn may both surprise you and inspire you to be extra cautious when encountering certain hazards. 

What passengers are blowing into the air: A stark example

Another reason why it’s so important to understand the hazards that affect one’s profession is that, in gaining this understanding, workers can take more proactive approaches when they may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, a public transit worker wouldn’t ordinarily assume that, if they were developing a lung condition or signs of toxic exposure, their job might be to blame, yet a new study suggests that they shouldn’t dismiss this possibility out of hand. 

The study, conducted by multiple transit agencies in the Pacific Northwest, determined that illicit drug use by bus and train passengers is affecting the health and well-being of transit operators. Specifically, air and surface exposure to methamphetamine is potentially affecting their mental and physical given the fact that it was present in all air samples and 98% of surface samples. Exposure to fentanyl residue is also particularly concerning. 

It isn’t always obvious that someone’s health challenges may be connected to their employment. However, carefully scrutinizing one’s job environment and activities can help individuals determine whether even seemingly unconnected health symptoms might be employment-related and, therefore, likely to result in a favorable workers’ compensation benefits award.