Are Workplace Asthma and Allergies Compensable in Minnesota?


Are Workplace Asthma and Allergies Compensable in Minnesota?

Workers in Minnesota can develop all kinds of workplace injuries, including asthma and allergic reactions. When dealing with these types of health problems, workers should document the causes and triggers to show they are work-related.

Can You Get Workers’ Comp for Asthma?

Yes, and work-related or induced asthma is very common. If you already have asthma and your working conditions or duties make it much worse, you also may be able to receive benefits. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, many substances can cause workplace asthma, including:

  • Grain or wood dust
  • Animal material such as hair
  • Chemicals known to be respiratory irritants
  • Cleaning products
  • Cosmetology supplies such as nail polish remover

In addition, the Department of Health advises that some occupations may have a higher risk of developing work-related asthma or respiratory problems, such as:

  • Bakers
  • Cleaners and cleaning people
  • Cosmetologists and salon workers
  • Lab workers
  • Painters who use spray equipment

Can You Get Workers’ Comp for Allergies or an Allergic Reaction?

It could be tricky to get workers’ comp for allergies because they are generally medical conditions that you would have regardless of whether you worked at your job. However, if you have an unexpected allergic reaction or your allergies worsen – specifically because of exposure to a certain substance in the course of your work – you could have a stronger case. For example, a person with peanut allergies might have trouble getting benefits, but someone who developed a severe allergic reaction to latex after his employer failed to give him protective equipment could have an easier time in the workers’ comp process.

How Do You Show that Your Health Issues Are Work-Related?

In Minnesota workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system. The employee does not have to show that the employer did anything wrong to get benefits. However, workers with asthma and allergic reactions could receive initial denials of benefits because the insurance company will claim that their health problems are not related to work. If you get a denial, be sure to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer about filing a Claim Petition. This will give you the opportunity to prove the causation in front of a judge.

You should begin to document your health issues now to help with your case. Be sure you see a doctor and get a diagnosis of asthma or allergic reactions, and get prescriptions or other treatment if needed.

Need help getting workers’ compensation for your work-related asthma or allergic reaction? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.