Workplace Injuries Caused by Chemicals

Posted on in Workplace Accident

IL injury lawyerNo one expects to get hurt when they go to work, but it does happen. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 4 million work-related injuries that required medical attention in 2019. These injuries may be caused by various factors and can affect different parts of the body. For example, falling from scaffolding at a construction site can result in fractured or broken bones. In other cases, exposure to toxic or dangerous substances can harm an employee. Even when safety measures and procedures are followed, workplace accidents involving chemical hazards can still occur. In some situations, exposure can result in severe to life-threatening consequences.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances

Toxic chemical exposure can occur in several types of industries, but there are some settings in which workers may be more susceptible to these hazards. These can include manufacturing, oil and gas, welding, transportation (trucking, railroad, agriculture, and healthcare. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides standards for preventing illnesses and injuries. However, many of the chemicals used in these types of jobs increase the risk of serious injury or death when workers are repeatedly exposed to them over a long time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there are five common substances that can cause work injuries:

  • Carbon monoxide - Odorless and colorless gas produced when fossil fuels are burned. High levels in enclosed spaces can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, weakness, loss of consciousness, and death.
  • Ammonia - Colorless gas that can irritate and burn the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs.
  • Chlorine - A common ingredient in industrial products and used in swimming pools, it can also develop in areas with poor ventilation; higher levels of exposure can cause respiratory problems, chest pains, and even death.
  • Hydrochloric acid - A clear, colorless, highly corrosive substance that can burn the skin, and cause long-lasting damage to the eyes, skin, organs, and intestines.
  • Sulfuric acid - Contact with skin can cause chemical and thermal burns, and if it gets in the eyes, it can cause blindness.

Employers have a duty to keep their employees safe while on the job. A major part of this responsibility includes providing access to the proper protective equipment (PPE) and gear such as face masks, shields, gloves, and helmets. Spills or leaks must be cleaned up immediately to prevent injuries.

Contact an Illinois Workplace Accident Attorney

Some occupations may have a greater risk of injury depending on the industry. Employees who work with or who are exposed to certain chemicals can suffer serious and long-term consequences. A skilled Orland Park, IL workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your legal options for seeking damages. James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law and his knowledgeable staff have proven success in pursuing workplace injury claims. Call our office today at 708-966-2408 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/Pages/default.aspx

https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/work/work-overview/work-safety-introduction/

James A. Payonk, Jr.

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Orland Park, Illinois 60467

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708-966-2408