Outdoor workers in California are often exposed to insects of various kinds, and some may not be aware of the health risks insect stings pose. Even workers who experienced no adverse effects for years could develop allergies to certain types of insect venom and might need to seek financial assistance through the California workers' compensation program. Although mosquitoes are often regarded as the most prevalent insect sting threat, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology says honeybees, wasps, hornets, fire ants and yellow jackets also pose significant risks.
Workers must look out for symptoms that include redness, itching, pain, flushing, hives and swelling in the sting area or beyond. While all these symptoms could be severe, those who suffer anaphylaxis will need emergency medical care because it is a life-threatening reaction. Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that affects the entire body. It will cause the victim's blood pressure to drop dramatically, affect his or her heart rate, and impair breathing. If that person does not receive proper medical care promptly, the condition could be fatal.
Workers with known allergies to insect stings must report it to their employers and avoid working where insects are present. Wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants can limit exposure of the skin to insects, and applying a repellent might be effective. Employers must provide safety training to help employees recognize red flags in themselves and co-workers, and it is wise to have an EPI pen handy in the event of an allergic reaction.
Workers who required medical treatment for allergic reactions to insect stings can rely on the California workers' compensation insurance program to cover their medical expenses. Those whose allergies caused absence from work will likely be eligible for a wage-replacement package. Some workers choose to use the services of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to navigate the benefits claims process for them.