Possible Mold Contamination in Columbia Fire Stations Highlight Importance of Workers’ Compensation

October might be the month for horror and Halloween, but no one wants to have to deal with the horror of dangerous pathogens in your workplace. Unfortunately for the firefighters in the Columbia Fire Department, they may be dealing with just that. Currently, two fire stations in the Columbia area are being tested for a possible mold infestation.

According to a breaking report from KOMU, a firefighter requested that the HVAC be cleaned in fire station two on October 1. The staff at the West Worley Street location agreed that the duct was in need to cleaning but were also made aware that mold could be present as well. The situation further escalated on October 16, when the Columbia Fire Department received an anonymous tip that mold was also potentially in fire station six, located on Chapel Hill Road. When investigated, Columbia Public Works found several ceiling tiles in the fire station that appeared to be moldy.

With this discovery, the crews of firefighters in station two and station six have been relocated. Officials with the Columbia Fire Department and the Columbia Professional Firefighters Union have promised to get to the bottom of this issue. A specialist will be visiting the fire stations this week to conduct a thorough investigation. They’ve also promised that no crews will be moved back into these stations until they can verify that they are completely mold-free.

Mold is never an easy situation to deal with. Luckily, the Fire Department is taking this possible infestation very seriously, and for good reason. Mold grows virtually everywhere, so long as there is humidity in the air to sustain it. According to the CDC, mold can affect your health in a variety of ways. Less harmful molds might cause symptoms like sneezing, cough, watery eyes, and dry or itchy skin. To people with asthma or weakened immune systems, these symptoms can be even worse, leading to difficulty breathing and even asthma attacks. More dangerous molds can cause mycosis, a fungal infection, due to repeated exposure to their spores in the air.

If you or your coworkers have found mold or other hazardous substances in your workplace, you could very easily suffer from these symptoms and more. Exposure to dangerous substances is the most number one cause of injuries in the workplace. It is your employer’s responsibility to make sure you have a safe, clean environment to work in. When you get sick, it might be time to file a workers’ compensation claim.

Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits When You’re Sick

Getting sick in the workplace is a serious matter, and you could be entitled to certain benefits if it happened due to your work. There are several steps you must take first, however, before you can receive support from work comp.

You’ll need to report your illness to your employer within 30 days of the incident occurring, and you must seek medical treatment to assess the extent of your sickness before moving forward. After that, you’ll need to submit a workers’ compensation claim. After your claim has been processed, you should start working with your employer’s adjuster, and they should help you navigate getting compensation for treatment on injuries or illnesses caused by your work.

Have You Been Hurt at Work? Call Chris Miller for Help

Not all workers’ compensation claims go smoothly. If your Columbia work comp claim was denied, or if you are unhappy with the benefits you’re receiving, it might be time to bring on a workers’ compensation lawyer. An attorney with a background in workers’ compensation can help you navigate every step of the claims process, from handling communication to filling an appeal. When it’s time to call a work comp attorney, call us at the Law Office of Chris Miller. We’ve help hundreds of other with their workers’ comp claims, and we can help you too.