A toxic exposure work injury can be frightening as some toxic substances can be extremely dangerous. Although most toxic exposures occur in factories or other locations where dangerous chemicals are found, almost any workplace can have toxic substances that can lead to injury or death.
Something as simple as a cleaning solution used improperly can lead to health issues and workers’ compensation claims.
For employees who regularly work with toxic chemicals, the danger is significantly greater. Positions such as photo developers, airline staff, fabrication, hospital workers and construction come in regular contact with toxic substances regularly.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues guidelines that must be followed in every industry regarding chemicals that may be harmful, including cleaning supplies.
The regulations may include requirements for special protective equipment, such as gloves or masks as well as how chemicals must be handled. However, even with the best precautions, a toxic exposure work injury can occur. In some cases, the employee may develop symptoms over time while others can cause immediate damage.
There are many different ways that toxic exposure work injuries can occur. In some cases, it may be an accident, such as spilling a dangerous chemical or a tear in protective clothing. Over time, toxic substances can cause damage to an employee that could lead to chronic health conditions, such as silicosis or asthma. Any type of profession can suffer from toxic exposure. Mechanics may be injured from exhaust fumes while custodial workers may suffer chemical burns after a strong cleaning solvent accident.
In some instances, it may be difficult to prove an injury from toxic exposure, especially if symptoms increased over time. Any chemical exposure injury in the workplace entitles you to file a workers’ compensation claim, however.
If there is instant evidence of an injury from a toxic chemical, such as burns, immediate respiratory distress or other symptoms that need immediate medical care, it may be easier to seek claims for workers’ comp. However, if the symptoms are due to extended exposure, it could be more difficult.
Asthma that has grown worse over your period of employment or neurological injuries from extended exposure to toxic chemicals are all workplace injuries that are covered as well.
In order to seek workers’ compensation for a toxic exposure injury, your best option is to speak to a qualified attorney who can advise you on what steps to take. Because toxic chemical injuries can be difficult to diagnose and prove, an attorney will work with your doctor, the insurance company and your employer to document your injury and find the evidence necessary to prove that it was a chemical that led to your injury.
Hiring an attorney does not mean you are suing your employer. In fact, in Pennsylvania, the law does not allow you to file suit for a workplace injury in most cases. An attorney will simply protect your rights under the law.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a toxic exposure work injury, contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation regarding your case. You can reach us by phone or complete the simple online form in order to get advice on your toxic chemical injury case.