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Red tide leads to workers' compensation claims in Florida

In Florida, there are many unusual hazards you might not think will affect you on the job. One of those hazards is red tide. The red tide occurs when algae blooms and releases toxins. This colors the water and has a potential to harm animals and humans.

In a case in Palm Beach, five police officers have reported respiratory illnesses in relation to the red tide. Of them, two had to seek medical treatment. They filed for workers' compensation as well.

How badly did the red tide affect the officers?

Officers reported coughing, headaches and sneezing, all of which are normal when a red tide is present. Officers who have to work around the tide are meant to wear respirators, which help prevent the harmful toxins from entering the lungs.

With agricultural and industrial runoff, the red tide is becoming more common. This isn't good news for workers, so they have to stay educated about what to do if they see the tide occur. The Nov. 5 report indicated that there is a state of emergency in some areas of Florida because of the risks of the tide.

No matter where you work, you need to understand the risks that you could be exposed to on the job. In Florida, one of the risks near the water is the red tide. Individuals and their employers need to do all they can to make sure they're aware of the safety risks of environmental conditions like this, so they can prevent injuries and reduce the overall number of workers' compensation claims made.

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