What Types of Chemical Accidents Happen in the Workplace?
American workers deal with thousands of chemicals on the daily and the number of chemical accidents that occur every year in the workplace is staggering. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Workers suffer more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths annually related to chemical exposures.” Many industries require employees to work with or near toxic chemicals regularly putting workers at risk for a wide range of health hazards.
Employees can be exposed to dangerous chemicals in almost any employment situation. While it is most common for many chemical accidents or exposures to occur within factories or locations where dangerous chemicals are used or manufactured, office workers can also be at risk of exposure of chemical substances such as cleaning chemicals or paint. Nevertheless, employers are responsible for the safety of their employees, but unfortunately accidents still happen.
Who Is Most at Risk for Chemical Exposure?
Chemical accidents can happen in essentially any workplace environment, however; there are certain industries where employees are more vulnerable to exposure, including:
- Industrial & Manufacturing
- Oil and Gas
- Agriculture workers and farmers
How Can a Chemical Hazard Affect Your Health?
Depending on the length of the exposure to certain chemical hazards, the illnesses or injuries one is susceptible to can vary in severity. There can be immediate or long-term repercussions to your health. Hazardous chemicals such as carbon monoxide, lead, mercury, pesticides, asbestos, chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents, which are often found in many workplaces, can enter your body though a variety of means including: inhalation, ingestion, injection, or skin-to-skin contact. Some diseases and environmental illnesses that can be caused by exposure to toxic substances in the workplace are:
- Brain damage
- Chemical burns, corrosion
- Heavy metals poisoning
- Nerve damage
If you have been involved in a toxic chemical incident in your workplace, some of the symptoms of chemical exposure can include:
- Chemical burns
- Itchy/burning eyes
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Fever or chills
- Rapid heart rate
It is the employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe working environment for their employees. Companies are expected to notify their workers of potential hazards as well as keep them informed and educated on all safety procedures. In addition, they must ensure the employees are equipped with the proper protective gear for their work environment. Although accidents can happen, injuries or illnesses can arise through the negligent actions of your employer. Acts of carelessness that may lead to accidents can include insufficient training, improper storage of materials/substances, inadequate protective equipment, defective equipment, or even insufficient ventilation in your workplace.
Proving Chemical Exposure at Work
In proving a chemical exposure occurred at your workplace, you must prove you are in fact injured or have a disease. It can sometimes be challenging proving you have suffered harm from prolonged chemical exposure. Thus, it is important to act quickly as soon as you suspect your ailment stems from chemical exposure. It must also be proven that the employer failed in the duty of care and was indeed the cause of your ailment. Meaning, the employer did not keep the workplace reasonably safe from dangerous chemical leaks. It is vital to document the injury and prognosis in great detail to further develop a strong case.
If you suffered a workplace injury due to a chemical accident or exposure because of another’s negligence, we suggest you reach out immediately. Do not delay, as there are time limits in filing a claim. Even if you are unsure you want to file suit, an attorney can help guide and educate you on the situation.
Please contact us for a free confidential consultation at (888) 420-1299.
If you or someone close to you suffered a workplace injury due to chemical accident or any other cause, the first thing you should do is get medical attention. A proper evaluation will help determine the severity of your injuries and you can then begin the recovery process. You should then consult with an attorney here at Potts Law Firm who can make sure you receive a fair compensation for the unsafe conditions you had encountered. We will help determine who is liable. Additionally, a personal injury lawsuit can include damages such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, future medical care, or loss of consortium, which workers’ compensation does not cover.
If you are unsure if you have a case, don’t hesitate to call us today for a free consultation. Our team of experienced attorneys are ready to review your claim and fight for you.
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