When you head to work, you may face a variety of risks at your workplace. While there is always at least a small chance of something going wrong, the probability of getting hurt or ill due to occupational danger varies greatly from one job to another. Other factors can also contribute to the chances of falling ill at work and becoming temporarily unable to perform your job duties. This may include everything from inclement weather, and broken machinery, to electric shocks. In a number of such situations, you would be entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
However, when it comes to sick leave due to food poisoning, sometimes it is not clear whether your workers’ comp insurance will cover medical bills and loss of income in such cases. In this article, we will take a closer look into the issue of food poisoning at work and whether you can claim benefits.
Can food poisoning get you out of work?
Surely, you can contract food poisoning while on your lunch break, during a company meeting that involves serving fresh meals or drinks, or anywhere else. Symptoms may occur after a couple of hours, the next day, or take immediate effects. Depending on the severity, food poisoning can make you seriously ill to the extent that you would need to stay home for a day. You might even get hospitalized if your health seriously deteriorates as a result of eating or drinking contaminated meals.
What are the common types of food poisoning?
Most food poisoning can be attributed to germs, i.e. bacteria and viruses. These include:
- Escherichia coli
- Enteric viruses
What are some valid claims for workers comp due to food poisoning?
Before you consider filing for a claim, you should keep in mind whether your current inability to work occurred due to food you brought from home, bought it somewhere else, or while you were eating while performing your job duties. In the first scenario, where you had a snack outside of your company or got ill due to food you prepared yourself, you are unlikely to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
However, there are other situations that are not so loosely defined and where the odds of getting compensated are on your side:
- Your job involves consuming a variety of foods or drinks while working. For example, you might work as a professional cook, food critic, or food taster.
- The employer provided food during a company meeting, lunch, or a similar event that you were required to attend.
- Your employer generally provides food and drinks in your office.
How to prove food poisoning at work and claim benefits?
If you worry that you have sustained food poisoning in your workplace, your first call should be to your doctor. Once you get the necessary medical attention and assistance, you may want to inquire with your supervisor or employer to ensure that your workers’ compensation claim is filed in a timely manner.
However, If you encounter any issue or lack of understanding from your employer or the insurance company, it’s time to collect your medical records and talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. A seasoned professional will help you write an elaborate claim, back it up with evidence, and ensure that the whole process goes smoothly.