Workers in many industries are exposed to gasses and chemicals on a day-to-day basis. These workers should be given the proper training and equipment to prevent injuries and avoid exposure. Unfortunately, many employers and shift supervisors do not give them the proper training or equipment to keep them safe on the job.
If you or a loved one was injured at work because of exposure to toxic chemicals or gases, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today. Our Baltimore toxic gas and chemical exposure at work lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf against your employer or other responsible parties. Call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free legal consultation.
Causes of Chemical Exposure Injuries at Work
Different jobs involve vastly different types of toxic chemicals and gas. Jobs at chemical plants and manufacturing sites have hundreds or thousands of potential chemicals you could be exposed to on a daily basis, as do jobs in sanitation, mineral extraction, refining, processing, and even construction. Chemicals can typically affect the body in a few different ways, which could cause severe injuries in any of the following ways:
If dangerous chemicals get into your eyes, you could face serious damage. While some chemicals may cause intense irritation and discomfort, others may cause more significant harm. Some chemicals may cause blindness, and some can even eat away at the eye, causing severe tissue damage. Chemicals that can harm your eyes include not only things like acid or other liquid chemicals that might splash into your eyes, but also gasses and fumes.
Chemicals that touch your skin could cause tissue damage and irritation. Many chemicals, especially ones that have either a very high or very low pH, may cause redness, swelling, and even tissue death. Prolonged or repeated contact can cause substantial damage with some chemicals, potentially leading to sores or tissue erosion and requiring medical intervention. Acids are some of the most common chemicals to cause injury this way.
Breathing in dangerous chemicals could be incredibly dangerous or even deadly. Some gases are poisonous or dangerous enough that when they enter your body, they can be absorbed into your bloodstream and cause neurological damage, organ damage, illness, and other injuries. Benzene, chlorine gas, fumes from other chemicals, and even smoke can cause injury this way. Some substances may not be precisely toxic, but when inhaled they can become extremely dangerous, causing damage to your lungs. One common example of this is silica dust.
Liquids and solids can get in your mouth during work, especially if you are not given the proper safety equipment to prevent chemical exposure. At a work site, you should not have to worry about chemicals leeching into your food and being ingested that way, but nearby sources of drinking water could be contaminated if not properly kept safe
Regardless of the method of exposure, some chemicals seep into your system and cause damage after years of exposure. Some chemicals will remain in your body, since your body systems are unable to handle them or filter them out. These chemicals can build over time and cause damage after accumulating a sufficient quantity, or sufficient exposure for a long time can cause health conditions. This is common with asbestos, and many carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals as well as heavy metals like lead.
Holding Employers Accountable for Workplace Chemical Exposure Injuries
If your work site has a risk of chemical exposure, your employer and supervisors should do their best to keep exposure below dangerous levels and avoid unnecessary exposure. This is typically accomplished through proper training and awareness for employees as well as using proper safety techniques and equipment. If your employer fails to do so, you may be able to sue them for the injuries you faced.
Employers owe their employees a duty to properly train and prepare them on not only company policies but also on general safety standards for performing their job. This should include training about chemicals they might encounter and education on what these chemicals can do and how to avoid injury. Additionally, the company should take all reasonable safety precautions to avoid exposure. This should include proper building design and worksite setup emphasizing things like emergency eye-rinse stations, emergency chemical showers, ventilation, and equipment. It should also include providing employees with gloves, goggles, and other safety gear.
When you file a lawsuit against your employer, you can claim damages for any harms that resulted from the employer’s negligence. This can include damages for lost wages if you are forced to miss work, medical expenses if you need healthcare, reduced earning capacity if your injury affects future job prospects, and pain and suffering damages if the injury results in discomfort and emotional distress.
In some cases, you may be required to file your case through workers’ compensation. However, there may be exceptions for accidents caused by third parties that still allow you to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Talk to a lawyer about your options for recovering compensation after a workplace injury and for more information about what your case is worth.
Call Our Baltimore Toxic Gas and Chemical Exposure at Work Lawyer
After suffering a severe injury from acute or prolonged chemical exposure at work, you should speak with a personal injury lawyer about seeking compensation for your injuries. The Baltimore workplace toxic gas and chemical exposure lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice represent injury victims and work to get them financial compensation for their injuries. To schedule a free consultation with our injury attorneys, call our law offices today at (410) 694-7291.