Asphyxia From Toxic Chemicals and Workers Comp Claims
Asphyxia from toxic chemicals is a classification that is found in the Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Asphyxia from toxic chemicals describes the kind or type of illness or injury that a worker sustains in an accident or incident that is work related. When a worker is injured or becomes ill in a work-related incident or accident, the kind or type of injury or illness has to be placed in the right classification of the OIICS.
Asphyxia or asphyxiation comes from a Greek word that means to stop or be without pulse or heartbeat. Asphyxia is a condition in which there is an extreme decrease in the concentration of oxygen in the human body that is accompanied by an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide. The result is that a person loses consciousness or dies.
There are many circumstances that can bring about asphyxia. However, all of them are characterized by the inability of a person to acquire a sufficient amount of oxygen through breathing for an extended period of time. These circumstances may include but are not limited to: the obstruction or constriction of airways, such as laryngospasm, asthma or simple blockage from the presence of foreign materials; from being in environments where oxygen is not readily accessible: such as underwater, in a vacuum or in a low oxygen atmosphere; or environments where oxygenated air is present, but cannot be adequately breathed because of air contamination, as with excessive smoke.
As it applies to workers’ compensation, asphyxia from toxic chemicals refers to the kind of injury or illness that a worker is victim to in a work-related accident or incident. It is asphyxia that results from a worker being exposed in some way to toxic chemicals. For example, this could result from some type of chemical spill.
Asphyxia from toxic chemicals is found under the broader classification of traumatic injuries and disorders. This is a classification for injuries and disorders that are particularly disturbing and upsetting to co-workers.
Type of Work With High Risk for Asphyxia from Toxic Chemicals
There are several types of work that involve a high risk for asphyxia from toxic chemicals. These include:
- Operating an internal combustion engine without adequate ventilation
- Working in a confined space
- Working with toxic chemicals that may be released or spilled
- Agitating or pumping liquid manure or entering a manure pit
- Using sodium cyanide to recover silver from an x-ray film
- Entering a silo one to ten days after it has been filled with silage.
Possible Injuries Resulting from Asphyxia from Toxic Chemicals
Different injuries may result from asphyxia from toxic chemicals. Some of these are:
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat, such as bradycardia or tachycardia)
- Stupor and coma
Can I Get Workers Comp for Asphyxia from toxic chemicals?
If you are a worker who has survived asphyxia from toxic chemicals in a work-related accident or incident, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you lost a loved one from work-related asphyxia from toxic chemicals, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits.