An industrial worker may be exposed to harmful chemicals while at work with or without his or her knowledge. These chemicals increase the risk for development of acute and chronic diseases involving a worker who has been working in an unsafe environment for a period of time. It is the responsibility of the employer to communicate to the employee the hazards that may be dealt with while working in a high-risk area. The employer must also record work-related injuries and notify proper government sectors when a number of company employees have fallen ill. Medical tests should also be given regularly to see to it that employees are safe at work.
If you are an employee or a worker who noticed something suspicious about the place where you are working at, you have the right to decline working in the area and request to be transferred to a safer place to work in. Moreover, the employer cannot punish you if you happened to invoke your right to safety. Some of the things that an employer might do to get back at you after asserting your right to safety are firing you out, transferring you to another department, reducing your working hours, denying you a promotion or a raise. If something like this happens to you, notify the proper authorities within 30 days so that you may be entitled for compensation. Guard you own safety from harmful chemicals that may be present in your workplace.
Some of the chemicals and by-products that are harmful and that you may be exposed to are benzene, asbestos, silica dusts, and radiation. Benzene is colorless and causes dizziness, vomiting, anemia, convulsions and death with a short-term exposure. However, long term exposure may lead to blood diseases such as leukemia. Benzene is so widely-used that people are unconcerned about its harmful effects. It is found on paint, detergent, wax, and some drugs. Asbestos, on the other hand, becomes airborne when the small particles are agitated, they may be dislodged in the lung tissues and cause swelling and scarring.
Long-term effects of asbestos exposure may lead to a form of cancer called mesothelioma. Asbestos is used in sound- and fire-proofing and insulation and most at risk are workers who install asbestos for a living. Silicosis is another type of disease caused by silica dust, another hazardous substance and people who are most at risk are construction and road workers, miners or anybody who is exposed to sand. Silicosis causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Workers may also be exposed to radiation which increases the risk for cancer and speeds up the aging process.
If you think that you are exposed to these kinds of contaminants, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer who could help you notify your employer, obtain a medical abstract, and secure a statement of your salary. These things will help you claim compensation for your exposure to hazardous chemicals in your company. You may also want to notify the Workers Compensation Insurance and provide them copies of your notice, medical abstract and salary statement. Most of the time, they will only offer to replace your wage and provide you with some medical benefits. However, if you think you deserve a higher compensation than what was agreed upon with the Workers Compensation Insurance, your personal injury lawyer can work things out for you.
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