The workmen compensation policy covers one of the occupational illnesses-Compressed air diseases. The working environment where air pressure may be higher or lower than the normal surface air pressure causes this sickness. This disease is likely to affect workers employed at high altitudes or underwater. Decompression Sickness or DCS is the other name for it. As the person moves from a high-pressure environment to a low-pressure area, the air’s gases dissolve in the bloodstream. Bubbles form throughout the body, causing DCS. It happens due to disturbance in blood circulation underwater. Usually, divers with excess weight are subject to the bigger risk of picking up a compress. The reason may be the fat content in blood, boosting the gas bubble formation due to the water repellency. Further, lipids (fatty tissues) are also inert gasses. Thus, compressed air disease is covered under workmen compensation.
The workmen’s compensation insurance also compensates people working in different altitudes or different air pressure zones. The policy coverage protects workers suffering from health issues due to this kind of exposure.
Medically, DCS can produce varied symptoms for those affected and consultation from a medical practitioner may be necessary.
Although DCS is listed under Part A of Schedule III of WC (Workmen Compensation) Act, it is an add-on benefit under the worker’s compensation insurance policy.
Case Study: 1
Formed in 2011, MNK Mining has established its position as one of the leading mining companies on the global front. Backed with 1100 strong workforce consisting of skilled personnel, it is led by a team of qualified engineers.
Considering the nature of its work, MNK Mining had paid an extra premium to cover compressed air disease under its Workmen Compensation Insurance Policy. Covered under Part A of Schedule III of WC (Workmen Compensation) Act, it was as an add-on benefit to the policy for which MNK Mining paid extra premiums.
Last year, one of the MNK workers was hospitalized for developing health issues during the mining of uranium. The initial medical reports suggested that due to prolonged working in the mine under different air pressure zones, the worker had developed some breathing problems. Diagnosed with compressed air disease, doctors initially gave some medicines to manage the pain and treat the medical condition.
As MNK Mining had bought workmen compensation insurance policy, the insurer covered the medical expenses incurred on compressed air disease on the basis of the medical reports. It included expenses incurred in taking the worker to the hospital.
Case Study: 2
Since 2012, L.J Co. has carved a niche for itself in the mining industry. One of the mineworkers -Ram Saran suffered injuries when working on a mill machine. A needle used for the expansion of PVC film (a pressure generating equipment), accidentally punctured his left hand. Since at that time a high-pressure injection process was on, it resulted in an injection of compressed air at 20 atmospheric pressures into the hands of Ram. Due to the accident, the worker experienced severe pain followed by numbness of all the fingers.
Immediately rushed him to the hospital, where they conducted X-rays and MRIs. The reports showed the presence of excess air in the skin and inter-muscular spaces. The swelling of the upper limb lasted for 25 days, and it took ten weeks for the numbness to subside.
L.J Industry had purchased a workmen compensation insurance policy for all its workers. Considering the nature of their business and the working atmosphere in which their workers had to work, the company expanded the cover with compressed air disease coverage.
Additional Read: What Are the Occupational Diseases Covered Under a WC Policy?
In this case, the workmen’s compensation insurance policy covered the medical expenses incurred during Ram’s treatment. by. Upon receiving intimation about Ram’s hospitalization, the insurer scrutinized the claim form along with other documents like doctor’s prescription, medical bills, etc. Once satisfied, the insurer paid medical expenses. Here, as Ram’s fingers stayed numb for quite a long time, the insurer also paid temporary disability benefits.