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:
- Carbon monoxide
- Harmful gases
- 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.