Chemical exposure in the workplace

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Every day, workers in South Florida are exposed to dangerous chemicals and toxins that may cause fatal injuries. If you were injured due to harmful chemicals at work, you could file a workers’ compensation claim with the help of a Miami workers’ comp attorney from Gallardo Lawyers. In this article, we will discuss the best ways to identify potentially hazardous toxins at work and what to do when the toxins are present.

Common injuries due to chemical exposure

The most common damages caused by exposure to toxins on the job include:

  • Burns and rashes – Skin contact with harmful chemicals can cause burns and rashes that leave significant scarring.
  • Blindness – Some substances that make contact with the eyes may cause vision problems and blindness in some cases.
  • Throat injuries – This occurs when a worker swallows chemicals that settled in food areas or leaked into the water.
  • Breathing problems – Fumes from solvents and paints may cause lung injuries such as asthma and chronic inflammation.

Other injuries such as permanent brain damage, cancer, and even death can also occur when the worker inhales, contacts, or swallows chemicals such as asbestos, lead, and other toxic fumes for a long time. Employees who suffer from such harmful exposure are covered under workers’ compensation, but first, they need to prove that the main cause of the injury was exposure to toxic chemicals on the job.

What are the specific toxic chemicals often found in workplace settings?

  • Asbestos – It includes microscopic fibers that can be released into the air and workers who accidentally ingest it or inhale it may experience serious health problems, including cancer.
  • Benzene – This toxic vapor is found in paints can cause leukemia with symptoms including, nausea, rashes, and headaches.
  • Mercury – This poisonous chemical can cause permanent damage to the nervous system when absorbed or inhaled with symptoms such as loss of coordination and muscle control.
  • Lead – It can be problematic particularly in children causing developmental disabilities and neurological disorders, among other possible effects.

Other additional chemicals such as pesticides, industrial alcohol, chlorine dioxide, sulfuric acid, silica, manganese, and too many others to mention, can create life-altering injuries. The sad part is that exposure occurs without you being aware of it.

What can you do?

  • Request a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  • Check out warning labels
  • Take prevention measures once you discover toxins are present
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you believe you have already been exposed to toxins
  • Contact an experienced toxic chemical exposure attorney

Workers’ comp coverage

If you were injured at work due to chemical exposure, you can file a workers’ compensation claim and claim your benefits with the skill of a Miami workers’ compensation lawyer from Gallardo Lawyers. You don’t need to prove fault in order to claim your benefits. All you need is to prove that you were exposed to toxic fumes, and as a result, you were injured. But for the workers’ comp claim to be accepted, you need to take some steps:

  • Report the exposure to your employer
  • Give details about how the exposure occurred
  • Get the contact info of witnesses to the exposure
  • Get medical treatment if needed
  • Explain to your health care provider that you were exposed to toxic fumes

Our attorneys can protect your rights

If you become ill as a result of ingesting, inhaling or unintentionally swallowing toxic chemicals, it’s essential you contact a toxic chemical exposure attorney from Gallardo Lawyers regardless of your employer’s negligence. You may be entitled to workers’ comp benefits.

Toxic chemical exposure cases can be challenging to navigate on your own. At times insurers and employers will try to deny the connection between your exposure and the illness, but we know how to fight for your rights and get fair compensation for your toxic exposure case:

  • Loss of life
  • Bodily injuries
  • Medical costs
  • Rehab and physical therapy
  • Pain and suffering
Workers in these occupations can suffer serious health issues: Welders, Plumbers, Carpenters, Railroad workers, Painters, Construction workers, Insulators, Factory workers, Electricians, And many more.
Harmful chemicals can be found in any environment but they are most commonly found in industrial settings, and they may include: Paints, Cleaning solvents, Dyes, Fuels and gasoline, Lubricants
An injury on the job is not a personal injury claim but rather a workers’ compensation claim. However, when the injury was the fault of someone other than the employer, you may have a case against the individual or business responsible for the injury. This is called a “third party” case, which our Miami personal injury lawyers are fully equipped to handle.
In such cases, the family can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit to compensate the family beyond the workers’ compensation death benefits they are entitled to receive.
If the injury has prevented you from handling your responsibilities at work permanently, you may be able to pursue permanent disability benefits.
In Florida, your employer must file a notice of your claim with workers’ comp insurance seven days after they become aware of your injury. After this initial step, you will need to provide the insurance company with more information as requested.
It can be difficult to prove it on your own especially if the injury or disease has progressed slowly. You must prove that the toxin was a substantial factor in caused the injury, and you may need additional evidence gathered from the testimony of experts such as medical doctors, chemists, toxicologists, and so on.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are several things you can do to reduce toxin exposure at work: • Substitution – Replacing materials, equipment, and existing practices for less hazardous substances or methods can minimize exposure and the risk of injury / • Isolation – A barrier can be placed between the hazard and the individual / • Ventilation – The hazardous airborne substance can be removed mixed with uncontaminated air / • Administrative control – Preventive programs, adjusted work schedules, and other practices can be implemented to reduce substance exposure / • Protective equipment – It can help reduce exposure to toxic substances.