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Common Forms of Chemical Exposure In The Workplace

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Common Forms of Chemical Exposure In The Workplace

Common Forms of Chemical Exposure In The Workplace

By Jan Hoen

Many types of work environments expose workers to materials that could cause illness or injuries. Toxic chemicals can vary widely, and exposure might result in conditions ranging from skin irritation to serious burns to life-threatening issues, such as cancer. Despite strict guidelines set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regarding chemicals and workplace safety, millions of workers still suffer this type of injury or illness each year in the U.S.

If you were exposed to toxic chemicals and needed medical treatment, always discuss your situation with a Virginia workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

Risks of Chemical Exposure

Employers should provide proper training and education for workers when it comes to handling or being around dangerous chemicals on the job. There should be adequate safety procedures in place and safety equipment issued to workers. However, instances of chemical exposure can still happen, and some chemicals that might be involved include:

  • Asbestos
  • Silica
  • Lead
  • Benzene
  • Aluminum
  • Acids
  • Mercury
  • Pesticides
  • Petroleum

These chemicals can cause different types of injuries and reactions to workers, many of which need immediate and possibly ongoing medical treatment. Some common chemical-related injuries include:

  • Skin irritations and rashes
  • Chemical burns
  • Respiratory injuries due to inhalation
  • Cancer and other long-term conditions

Whether a chemical contacts your skin, you inhale a chemical, or you ingest a chemical, it is critical to identify the effects of exposure on your health. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, inform your employer and seek medical treatment immediately. 

Know Your Rights After Chemical Exposure

If chemical exposure is possible at your workplace, you have rights under Virginia law. Some of these include to:

  • Get proper safety training from your employer in understandable terms
  • Have all the necessary safety equipment when the risk of exposure exists
  • Get the medical treatment you need immediately after you discover exposure or related injuries
  • Report your injuries to your employer and pursue workers’ compensation benefits without retaliation from your employer
  • Receive benefits that cover the costs of your medical treatment, as well as a percentage of your lost income if you must miss work

While the workers’ compensation process should be relatively straightforward, many complications can and do arise when someone seeks the benefits they deserve. If you are dealing with a painful chemical burn or a life-changing cancer diagnosis due to carcinogen exposure, navigating the workers’ comp process is the last thing you need to worry about. 

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can review your situation and help you pursue the benefits that you need to cover your losses. If your claim has already been denied, an attorney can help with the appeal process.

Speak with a Virginia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Never let your employer or an insurance company deny your rightful workers’ compensation benefits following chemical exposure injuries. The legal team at Hampton Injury Law PLC can assist you with an initial claim or an appeal. Contact us for your free case evaluation.

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