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Hazardous Chemicals

October 13th, 2017 at 9:55 am

Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys, harmful chemicals, hazardous chemicals, OSHA regulations, workers' compensation claimsOne of the greatest dangers that people face while on the job is the exposure to harmful chemicals. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), hazardous chemicals cause more than 190,000 illnesses and 50,000 deaths every year for workers in the United States. These chemicals can not only endanger workers’ health by causing respiratory or skin irritation or increasing the risk of diseases such as cancer, they present physical dangers such as flammability and corrosion.

Employees who receive an injury or contract a disease after being exposed to toxic substances are eligible to receive workers’ compensation to cover expenses including medical bills and lost income.

OSHA Regulations

OSHA provides safety to workers by requiring employers to meet certain standards, including:

  • Worker education and training - Employers must label hazardous chemicals, provide safety data sheets, and train workers in how to appropriately handle chemicals and take measures to protect themselves from exposure.
  • Exposure limits - Employers must monitor respiratory hazards in their workplaces and ensure that they do not exceed the applicable Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). These limits include OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), as well as PELs established by state authorities and Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) established by federal agencies.

Controlling Exposure

OSHA has described four ways that employers can control their employees’ exposure to hazardous chemicals:

  • Elimination/substitution - Employers should make an inventory of potentially harmful chemicals, identify the hazards which present the greatest safety concerns, and determine whether alternative chemicals or processes could be used to improve worker safety.
  • Engineering controls - Employers should put physical controls in place to reduce or eliminate hazards to workers. These controls can include altering or isolating work processes to minimize contact with chemicals, using wet methods to reduce the generation of particulates, and implementing dilution ventilation.
  • Administrative and work practice controls - Employers should establish efficient procedures and adjust employees’ work schedules as necessary to prevent overexposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Personal protective equipment - Employers should ensure that employees always use the proper equipment that will limit their exposure to harmful chemicals, including protective clothing, eye protection, gloves, and respiratory equipment.

Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney

If you have been exposed to harmful chemicals while at work, and you suffered an injury or contracted a disease as a result, the dedicated attorneys at the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio can help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Contact our Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Source:

https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardoustoxicsubstances/

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