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Animal and insect bites at the workplace

Louisiana workers in outdoor job environments likely are aware of the prevalence of insects, snakes and other vermin at certain times of the year. However, even those who work indoors sometimes are injured as a result of bites. Louisiana employers can reduce the risk of injury by identifying potential threats and minimizing the risks.

The most common types of these workplace injuries have historically been caused by snakes and insects. Insects such as bees can cause hazardous reactions in some employees, and ticks carry dangerous illnesses such as Lyme disease. Venomous snakes have also shown up at some job sites. However, on rare occasions, animals like bears, rats, bats and raccoons have injured employees. When animals and insects hurt employees, eligibility for compensation for the injury is sometimes based on whether the work environment created an elevated risk to the employees' safety. The condition of the workplace and the nature of the work itself are factors.

Employees are at higher risk of these types of injuries in some occupations, including those that require outside work. Because these injuries are often deemed to be a risk of employment, workers' compensation coverage is usually available for those who contract Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, venom reactions and anaphylactic shock while on the job.

Workers' compensation benefits can include the provision of necessary medical care and treatment as well as a percentage of wages that are lost due to an inability to return to work. While most employees are eligible to be covered, some employers and their insurers sometimes will choose to dispute a claim on a variety of grounds. For this reason, many injured workers obtain the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney during the process.

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