While the majority of cases of toxic chemical exposure occur in industrial settings, any workplace has the potential for exposing employees to hazardous substances. Cleaning products, paints, glues, solvents, and other materials can cause short- or long-term health conditions, especially if workers are not properly equipped to handle the risks. Our work accident attorneys can determine whether your occupation could be to blame for your health condition.
Employer Liability for Exposure to Dangerous Substances
There are a variety of injures that can occur as a result of dangerous chemical exposure. If a person inhales a hazardous substance, he or she could suffer damage to the throat and lungs and potentially asphyxiate due to a lack of oxygen. Minor skin contact may result in rashes or burns, but prolonged exposure can result in deep tissue damage. Finally, the ingestion of toxic compounds can cause nerve damage, brain injuries, and even prove fatal in relatively low doses.
In many cases, workers will suffer hazardous exposure as a result of:
- Improper training. Before employees are expected to handle anything that could cause them harm, they should be trained on how to protect themselves and the procedures that should be followed to minimize exposure.
- Lack of protective equipment. It is the employer’s duty to ensure that employees have the proper protective gear for the chemical being used, including goggles, gloves, respirators, masks, or hazmat suits.
- Lack of adequate response. Employers should have safety measures in place in case a worker suffers contamination, including eyewash stations, chemical showers, and a dedicated response team.
- Poor workplace design. Environmental factors can make chemical injuries more likely or make potential hazards worse, such as inadequate ventilation or storing chemicals in a densely-populated work area.
If you think your workplace has affected your health, we can investigate whether your condition qualifies you to make a claim for compensation. Call us today or fill out our enquiry form to set up your no-obligation conversation with a member of our legal team.