Workers Exposed to Toxic Chemicals Are at High Risk of Injury and Illness
Exposure to dangerous substances in the workplace can lead to serious injuries and illnesses. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that one worker dies every 30 seconds from exposure to toxic chemicals and other hazardous substances. Those who suffered toxic exposure at work may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits, including payment for medical expenses and lost wages. The Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC provide experienced legal representation for workers with toxic exposure claims throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
Workers in many industries can be exposed to toxic chemicals though some occupations are higher risk than others. Some types of workers who are at increased risk of toxic exposure at work include:
- Construction workers
- Cosmetology workers
- Farmers/ agricultural workers
- Healthcare workers
- Manufacturing industry workers
- Oil and gas industry workers
- Paper and pulp manufacturers
- Power plant workers
Types of Toxic Substances in the Workplace
Various types of health hazards may be present in the workplace. Ingesting poison, breathing in toxic fumes, and absorbing chemicals through the skin are all ways in which workers can become injured or develop serious illnesses. Some types of toxic substances that workers may be exposed to at work include:
- Carbon monoxide
- Dust and other air contaminants
Common Injuries and Illnesses from Toxic Exposure at Work
Workers may suffer a variety of injuries and illnesses from toxic substances, depending on the type and length of their exposure. Some of the most common ones our work injury lawyers have seen include:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Chemical Burns
- Reproductive diseases
- Respiratory diseases
- Skin diseases
Toxic Exposure Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates worker exposure to chemical hazards and toxic substances. There are standards governing the general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, and construction industries. One of the ways in which employers must help ensure chemical safety in the workplace is by complying with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The HCS requires employers to disseminate information about chemical and toxic substance hazards in the workplace so that workers will be able to identify and handle them appropriately.
Delaware workers are also protected by the Hazardous Chemical Information Act (Worker Right-to-Know Law), which requires employers to develop comprehensive hazard communication plans that provide employees with access to understandable information regarding hazardous chemicals.
Controlling Work-Related Toxic Exposure
OSHA provides guidance on how to protect workers from being exposed to toxic substances in the workplace. Generally, employers should implement one or more of the following four types of controls:
- Elimination/Substitution – Whenever possible, employers should eliminate or substitute a toxic substance for a safer alternative.
- Engineering controls – Changing the work environment or job tasks, such as isolating the process, providing general dilution ventilation, and using wet methods, helps to control exposures.
- Administrative and work practice controls – Employers can rotate workers’ job assignments and schedules to avoid overexposing workers to toxic substances.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) – Workers should have the proper PPE to perform their job tasks, such as chemical protective clothing, respiratory protection, gloves, and safety goggles.
Workers’ Compensation for Toxic Exposure at Work
Those who are diagnosed with an illness or condition due to their exposure at work may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits such as payment for medical expenses and wage compensation. However, Workers’ Compensation laws vary by state, therefore injured workers should seek advice from an attorney in their local area for assistance with their claim.
Wilmington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Offer Assistance with Your Toxic Exposure Claim
If you sustained an injury or developed an illness due to toxic exposure at work, contact a Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer at McCann & Wall, LLC. Our knowledgeable attorneys are experienced in handling occupational disease claims and can help you obtain the maximum compensation in your case. We represent clients in Wilmington, Dover, Newark, and Middletown, Delaware. For a free consultation, please complete our online contact form or call us at 302-888-1221 or 215-569-8488.