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Employees may need workers' compensation due to product used

Most employers in North Carolina and elsewhere are required to provide  insurance coverage that provides wage relief and medical benefits to workers who become ill or are injured on-the-job. This type of insurance, called workers' compensation, differs among jurisdictions but usually functions as a form of disability insurance while also providing benefits to dependents if a worker is killed on the job. A group of workers at a hospital in another state claim that they are suffering adverse effects from a product they've been required to use in the performance of their work duties.

Workers in the hospital's housekeeping department are apparently required to use a particular cleaning solution known as "OxyCide." It is claimed that use of the product causes workers to suffer many adverse effects. Reportedly, it is not possible to use the product for an extended period of time without needing to go to a well-ventilated place for air. One worker claims that working with the solution causes a burning sensation in his eyes and throat.

Other employees in the hospital, located in Pittsburgh, assert that they have trouble breathing while using the product on the job. One employee stated that he is concerned for the health safety of his fellow workers and also for hospital patients who are exposed to cleaning solution. After official complaints were filed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration opened an investigation into the matter.

Many health care facilities use the product or similar ones in order to combat powerful germs and bacteria which can lead to infection. However, 81 percent of the Pittsburgh hospital employees recently surveyed claimed that they are suffering ill effects from use of the cleaning solution, including burning eyes, headaches, vomiting and nose bleeds. A worker in any state who becomes ill and unable to perform his or her duties on the job is likely eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. North Carolina employees who have questions regarding similar issues in our state may gain by consulting with an attorney who has experience in work-related injury or illness cases.

Source: pghcitypaper.com, "OxyCide is supposed to make hospitals cleaner and safer for patients, but what about the staff that has to use it?", Rebecca Nuttall, Feb. 18, 2015

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