Toxic fumes and harmful chemicals can put industrial workers at risk of chemical burns, skin rashes, eye irritation, respiratory ailments and neurological damage. Employees working in heavy industrial settings like factories and construction sites are particularly vulnerable to occupational exposure to these toxins.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict standards and regulations to prevent toxic exposure in many different employment environments. OSHA requires employers to educate and warn employees of the risks of known toxic substances. They unfortunately report many violations of these regulations and if you are victim to this, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
Seek medical attention
Your first step after toxic exposure is to seek medical attention. It may be possible that years of exposure have led to serious health problems, or the effects may be more immediate. Whatever your injury is, you’ll want to receive treatment as soon as possible. Once you address your illness or injury with a doctor or specialist, then you can handle the rest of your workers’ compensation claim.
Notify your employers
If your doctor or specialist determines that your injury is work-related, you should notify your employer and inform them of your injuries. Your employer should provide the necessary forms to begin your claim.
Eliminate exposure to toxic materials
You’ll want to stay away from the toxic material(s) that led to your injury. This is an important step in the healing process as well as preventing additional injury, which could complicate your claim.
This is all easier said than done because employers often argue the injury was not work-related despite the employee’s claim that it was. Therefore, there are elements you must prove to receive compensation for your injury. While a chemical burn has immediate repercussions, other illnesses may take years to develop and take effect.
Establishing the appropriate criteria for your workers’ compensation claim can help to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.