As a worker, your right to a safe environment doesn’t just include protection from direct physical harm like falling from an unstable ladder or being crushed under an unsecured load. You also have the right to be warned about the risks of exposure to toxic substances.
Every worker has a right to safety gear to protect themselves from any chemical hazards and access to fair compensation if exposed to anything that has long-term or short-term health effects.
Below is only a partial list of what constitutes hazardous material.
- Any known carcinogen
- Flammable and explosive chemicals
- Chemicals that damage lungs upon inhalation
- Toxins that irritate the skin
Many workers that develop lung cancer or other forms of the disease have their conditions because of exposure to carcinogens in their workplace. Over thirteen million workers are potentially exposed to dangerous chemicals on an annual basis.
Knowing that your job carries risks of toxic exposure means that you can be aware of the dangers and vigilant for any symptoms that might indicate that you’ve been negatively affected. In the event of exposure, you can file a claim earlier and ensure that you get the medical and financial compensation you need before your health suffers even more severe damage.
What are some jobs with an increased risk of toxic exposure? Let’s take a look.
Welders and any profession involving molten metal can potentially be exposed to toxic chemicals. Manganese is the most hazardous metal to work with and is an ever-present hazard due to being used in welding rods, but all molten metals can produce toxic fumes. Toxic fumes can result in COPD and several types of cancer.
Miners, especially coal miners, are at a high risk for exposure to hazardous chemicals, as their work will bring them into contact with silica dust. Anyone with a job that produces large amounts of particulate matter, like powder or dust, will be at similar risk. This can include anything from milled flour to popcorn flavorings to nylon strands. Anything small and light enough to be easily inhaled and settle in the lungs can be a severe long-term hazard, resulting in conditions like “flock worker’s lung.”
Farming jobs involve routine exposure to wet hay, which can develop mold or fungus. The mold spores and bacteria that collect on plant matter can easily enter the lungs, resulting in allergic conditions, asthma-like attacks, and even permanent lung damage.
Workers on Docks, Railroads, and Bridges
Anyone who works in environments with heavy use of diesel-powered equipment can experience exposure to toxic diesel fumes. Environments where this is likely to occur include loading docks, railroads, mines, farms, and bridges.
Get Help for Difficult Workplace Conditions
If you work in a hazardous environment and begin experiencing any noticeable health issues, you should contact your doctor immediately to determine if your workplace may be the cause. If so, document all evidence and contact an attorney as soon as possible. Workers compensation attorneys focus on helping you receive the maximum compensation for your losses.
The workers compensation attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, bring together our knowledge and insight to construct a strong case for our clients and maximize any future settlements. Thanks to our teamwork and extensive familiarity with both state and federal employment laws, we can take on essentially any toxic exposure case for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.