You may encounter illness in any space you occupy. Whether it be your home, the workplace, your yoga class, or outside in public places. You may get an illness through coming into contact with a sick person, exposing yourself to unclean working conditions, or it may be a hereditary illness that you’re just more susceptible to.
Illnesses are often unpredictable but there are cases where they may also be expected. For example, working in environments where there are risks of exposure to disease-causing chemicals or substances, or actual contagious diseases. When an illness is acquired from one’s workplace, workers often feel unsure about how they should handle it. Here are some steps you can take in the event you develop an illness at work:
- Distance Yourself Immediately
If you think you may have developed an illness while at work, distance yourself from your co-workers as soon as you find out until you can confirm that it’s not something contagious. Even if you don’t feel that sick, if your illness happens to be something contagious, other people who may acquire it may be weaker and get more serious symptoms.
Distancing yourself may also allow you to be in a different headspace where you can also assess where the illness may have come from or how it developed. In some cases, illnesses acquired from work are hard to avoid, and when you get it, your company may just compensate you financially.
For example, construction workers who have been exposed to asbestos, and were later diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. Although it took such a long time, there are now laws that will hold companies liable when their workers acquire a disease from their workplace. In Michigan, if workers acquire mesothelioma from a workplace with known asbestos exposures, they may seek help from mesothelioma lawyers in Michigan and consult about building a strong case against the responsible party.
- Inform Your Superiors
Before you leave your work, make sure to advise your supervisor of your situation first. Proper notification will help to avoid disruptions at work when one leaves, plus your supervisor will be able to make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the exposure will be contained after, and other workers may be warned if needed.
If your job is something that can be done remotely then they may be able to organize a way for you to work from home until you recover. More importantly, if you have insurance at work, your supervisor may help direct you to the right medical facility following their process, if there’s any.
- Visit A Clinic Or Hospital
If your symptoms are serious and don’t go away with medications, visit a clinic or hospital as soon as you can. However, if your symptoms are mild but you suspect it may be something contagious, or something that may be more serious, it’s best to visit a medical facility too to get tested and confirm what illness you may have caught.
- Update The People You Work With
For many people around the world, the people they work with are also people they’re close to and have already developed relationships with. Informing and updating the people that you work with about your progress and how you’re feeling may reassure them that you’re doing well. Progress updates may also help your superiors get a better idea of when you’ll be able to go back to work, especially if your illness is serious.
- Work On Your Recovery
Being a little bit better isn’t enough to say you’ve recovered already. Once you’ve confirmed what illness you have, follow the recommended treatment for your case. Use your time at home to rest completely, consume healthy, healing foods for your recovery, and take medications as advised.
A full recovery is definitely more rewarding, not only for yourself but also for your co-workers. It would make them feel much safer knowing that you’ve recovered well and that they won’t be at risk of contracting the disease you had.
- Keep Your Space Clean
Although your company will have likely sanitized your workstation already, make sure to keep it clean when you return to work. By now you’d have also probably learned the importance of a clean workplace, and how it may help you avoid illnesses in the future.
Cleaning the environment you’re working in may also give you a better mindset and help you maintain a good spirit after you’ve recovered from an illness.
Navigating Through Illness In The Workplace
Developing an illness in your workplace may leave you feeling conflicted especially if you’re not sure how your company will handle it. It may seem daunting if it’s your first time, but by taking things one step at a time, and knowing when and where to seek help, the process shouldn’t be as burdensome as you may expect it to be.