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Illinois courthouse problem could cause workers' compensation

The condition of an old Illinois courthouse in Galesburg could lead to potential worker's compensation claims since it has been revealed that it contained traces of radon. An expert on the potentially toxic gas says that the present levels are not enough to be deadly, but that it could cause problems. This issue could lead to workers' compensation cases should employees begin to see adverse effects from the radon exposure.

It is known that high levels of radon exposure could cause certain types of cancers and various parts of the building have tested positive for this dangerous poison. It has been determined that the levels found in the Illinois courthouse are just under the level that would legally require remedial action. However, some employees are concerned that they have already become ill due to radon exposure.

The radon issue is currently being discussed by the committee that runs the old courthouse. Some are in favor of taking action to fix the problem, which could be costly and is not necessarily required due to the relatively low levels of radon. However, there is no guarantee that the levels that do exist could not possibly lead to cancer and/or other illnesses.

 At this point, there have been no workers' compensation claims filed against the courthouse and the city. However, if it is found that an employee does become ill, it is possible that it could be connected with the radon exposure. Employers have a responsibility to keep their employers safe on the job, especially if a known danger has been found to exist. Benefits are not limited to work accidents, and employees that suffer illnesses related to their employment have the right to pursue claims as well.

Source: Galesburg.com, "Expert: Courthouse radon levels not high enough for remediation," Joe Ward, June 25, 2013

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