Here is why!

The best credentialed expert to test and examine your injured worker should have training (that is documented) by NIOSH (the research arm of OSHA). Using providers with NIOSH-training shows they meet the highest standards in respiratory exposure evaluation and treatment.

Is it an occupational or non-occupational injury? The pulmonary functions test results will show:

Obstructive (non-occupational) – means the volume is HIGH and the speed of air flow is SLOW. Just think of a regular balloon full of water. It will continue to expand until it bursts. This is the pathology seen with your common lung diseases such as: COPD, asthma, and smokers.

Restrictive (occupational) – means the volume is LOW and the speed of air is FAST. Lungs become stiff and inflexible and cannot expand to bring in more air or hold large amounts of air. A Mylar balloon is an example of occupational damage to the lung. Chemical exposures, asbestos, cotton dust, chemicals, etc convert the lung into a rigid tissue and only small amounts of air can be expelled.

Author: Deborah Goza, MS, RN, COHNS, CCM
Editor: Lisa Perry