Toxic Exposure

In this country, workers have the right to do their jobs in a safe and healthy environment. Yet, millions of men and women are exposed to hazardous chemicals and toxins at work daily. Depending upon the substance in question, a single exposure or prolonged exposure over time can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening health problems. Workers exposed to these dangerous chemicals face physical effects, cost of medical treatment, and loss of income if they are temporarily or permanently unable to work.

Protecting Workers from Toxic Exposure

Employers are required by law to disclose any potential exposure to toxic substances you may encounter on the job. This is often done with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), which include information regarding the toxic substance in question, its toxicity, potential health effects, and how to store and dispose of it safely.

In addition to MSDS, employers must take appropriate precautions to prevent toxic exposure. That means proper safety training and personal protective equipment, such as ventilators and masks to reduce contact with hazardous toxins. Employers who fail to provide these essential protections may be responsible for injuries and illnesses workers sustain from toxic exposure.

Some of the common job-related toxins include:

  • Asbestos
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Harmful gases
  • Lead
  • Mold
  • Pesticides
  • Volatile organic compounds

Lab and factory workers are not the only employees at risk of toxic exposure. Many of these toxins are emitted or produced by seemingly harmless products, such as health and beauty aids, paints, office machines, farming equipment, building supplies, and cleaning products.

Conditions Caused by Toxic Exposure

While health problems caused by toxic exposure vary greatly in symptoms and severity, some are more common than others. They include:

  • Asbestosis: Chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers
  • Black lung disease: Inflammation and scarring resulting from inhalation of coal dust particles
  • Chemical burns: Internal or external tissue damage caused by inhalation or skin contact with a wide range of chemicals
  • Mesothelioma: Aggressive, incurable cancer caused by inhalation of asbestos particles
  • Radiation poisoning: Group of adverse symptoms caused by prolonged exposure to high amounts of ionizing radiation in a short period of time
  • Silicosis: Lung disease caused by inhaling tiny silica particles that cause tissue scarring and impair breathing

Toxic Exposure and Workers’ Compensation

Workers suffering from the harmful effects of toxic exposure can recover compensation for their illness or injuries. In cases where your employer took all reasonable precautions to protect you from physical harm, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits.

Workers’ compensation claims are not concerned with fault but need to show the worker was exposed to hazardous chemicals at work and was harmed as a result. Workers’ compensation benefits cover the costs associated with medical treatment and replace a portion of the income lost if you are temporarily or permanently disabled and are unable to perform your job tasks. To learn more about the best way to approach your case, contact a South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer with experience representing clients harmed by hazardous chemicals and toxins.

South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Fight for Workers Injured Due to Toxic Exposure

Every worker in New Jersey and across the country should be protected from unsafe contact with life-threatening chemicals and materials. Yet, we continue to hear about individuals suffering lifelong effects of job-related toxic exposure. If you were injured at work due to toxic exposure, the South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP will fight for the benefits and compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 856-761-3773 or contact us online today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the City of Camden.

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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:
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Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE:

Please be advised that in accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, which imposed strict limitations on the operations of "brick-and-mortar" businesses and required telecommuting to the greatest extent possible, all N.J. workers’ compensation courts will continue to be closed to the public and to non-essential court personnel until April 13, 2020.

In response to overwhelming requests from the Workers’ Compensation Bar to hold non-emergent matters electronically or by teleconference, as of April 6, 2020, the following Workers’ Compensation Judges shall be designated by the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development and the N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation as essential personnel and shall report to their home vicinages for the purpose of hearing as many Workers’ Compensation matters as possible by telephonic conferencing, including all emergent matters and the following non-emergent matters, pre-trial conferences, general motions for medical and temporary benefits, and settlements by affidavit:

Hon. Audrey Kernan, S.J., Atlantic City WC Courthouse
Hon. Arthur Marchand, A.S.J., Bridgeton WC Courthouse
Hon. Ingrid French, A.S.J., Camden WC Courthouse
Hon. Lionel Simon III, A.S.J., Freehold WC Courthouse
Hon. Diana Ferriero, S.J., Hackensack WC Courthouse
Hon. Jill Fader, S.J., Jersey City WC Courthouse
Hon. Glenn Kaplan, S.J., Lebanon WC Courthouse
Hon. Michael Luther, S.J., Mt. Arlington WC Courthouse
Hon. George Geist, S.J., Mt. Holly WC Courthouse
Hon. Ashley Hutchinson, A.S.J., New Brunswick WC Courthouse
Hon. Philip Tornetta, A.S.J., Newark WC Courthouse
Hon. William Roca, S.J., Paterson WC Courthouse
Hon. Maria Del Valle Koch, S.J., Plainfield WC Courthouse
Hon. Eugene Mulvaney, S.J., Toms River WC Courthouse
Hon. David Puma, S.J., Trenton WC Courthouse

The Division’s plan is to limit physical interactions in our workers’ compensation courts to the greatest extent possible and shift to the use of telephone conferencing, and if possible video conferencing for judges, attorneys, and litigants. There will be no in-person Workers’ Compensation Court proceedings (except for extremely limited emergent matters and certain ongoing motions for medical and temporary benefits and trials in which case social distancing will be enforced). Court offices will remain closed for in-person submissions. Filings will continue to be accepted electronically through COURTS On-line.

The N.J. Division of Workers’ Compensation’s number one goal is to limit the exposure and spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus to court personnel, attorneys and their staff, litigants, witnesses, and members of the public at large.

Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP also continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and its impact on our local community and the world at large. In accordance with Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, our office is closed and the members of the firm continue to work remotely. As such, the members of the firm may have limited access to information during this time. We continue to appreciate your understanding. We encourage our current clients, new clients, and fellow members of the bar to contact us via e-mail as that remains the best form of communication. All attorneys and paralegals have access to e-mail and case information. We have designated essential personnel to report to our office for the purpose of handling emergent matters only and to complete essential administrative tasks. Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP remains committed to complying with all health and governmental regulations. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those most affected by this situation.