Were You Exposed to Toxic Fumes at Work?

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Manufacturing processes often expose employees to toxic fumes at work. For example, vehicle manufacturing and fuel unearthing processes can expose employees to various chemical vapors as a part of their daily work. OSHA requires employers to provide safety training and equipment to workers. OSHA rules and regulations are designed to protect workers from toxic exposures.

Protecting Employees Against Toxic Fumes

Toxic fumes can cause a wide variety of work-related injuries and diseases, including urinary tract cancer, lung cancer, kidney damage, respiratory disease, and nervous system disorders. To help keep workers safe from these and other hazards, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has put certain rules and regulations in place. The administration requires employers to provide sufficient training and equipment to help protect against toxic chemicals in workplaces where they're often produced.

Toxic fumes continue to be a problem in many workplaces, despite OSHA's efforts. Earlier this year, one Iowa worker was overcome by fumes while working at a food packaging manufacturing plant.

To prevent factory accidents like this, OSHA put into place Hazard Communication Standards (HCS) that require employers to collect and disseminate data about the various hazards and identities of chemicals that put their workers at risk. Under these standards, chemical manufacturers and importers also must prepare labels and safety information that properly communicate information about the hazards their products present to end consumers.

Additionally, employers with employees who work in environments that contribute to toxic fume exposure need to identify and assess these hazards, ensuring that they don't go over the Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs). They also need to provide free respiratory protective equipment to all employees, along with sufficient education and training around their proper use.

Industries Where Employees Are Being Exposed to Toxic Fumes at Work

Several occupations put workers at risk more than others for toxic fume exposure. For instance, oil and gas workers may encounter airborne silica while performing hydraulic fracturing processes, which can lead to lung diseases and other respiratory issues. Hairdressers may also breathe in toxic hair products that cause lung problems over time. Healthcare workers also frequently gain exposure to biological agents and other dangerous substances that may lead to infections.

The risks of toxic fumes make it necessary for employers and employees to adhere to OSHA rules and regulations around these fumes in the workplace, which can keep them safer and healthier.

If You Were Exposed to Toxic Fumes at Work, You Can Recover Compensation

Employees who suffer workplace injuries or illnesses from toxic workplace exposure can recover benefits through a workers' compensation claim. These benefits take the place of personal injury lawsuits for workplace accidents, and are provided through Iowa's workers' compensation laws. These laws require employers to provide insurance to cover the cost of workplace injuries.

If you were exposed to toxic fumes at work, you can recover the costs associated with your injuries or illness. The benefits provided under workers' compensation insurance include payment for lost wages, medical treatment costs, and future workplace rehabilitation. If you sustain a disability as a result of exposure to toxic fumes, you may be entitled to permanent or temporary disability benefits. To recover compensation for your workplace injury, call a workers' compensation lawyer with Pothitakis Law Firm today.

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For the past 15 years Mr. Pothitakis has focused his practice on Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Cases. The firm has two locations, one being in Burlington, Iowa and the other in Keokuk, Iowa. Mr. Pothitakis works with many area unions and employee organizations to provide advice, assistance, and guidance as it relates to employment issues. Mr. Pothitakis provides free consultations to those with legal questions in the firm's areas of practice. In this initial meeting or conference potential clients are provided advice on their need for assistance and how they need to proceed.