Chemical Exposure on the Job
Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Chemical exposure occurs in many different ways. Toxic chemicals can harm workers through inhalation, ingestion, or by soaking into the skin. Unfortunately, many workers who are injured by chemical exposure don’t even know they’re being exposed. In some cases, simple precautions could eliminate or substantially reduce the risk of exposure, but employers don’t always take those steps.
It can be difficult to prove that an employer knew of the risks or took unnecessary chances, and in some cases the worker’s own actions may contribute to the exposure. Fortunately, in a workers’ compensation case, none of that matters. Generally, any injury sustained in the course of employment is covered by Massachusetts workers’ compensation, regardless of fault.
Who is at Risk for Chemical Exposure on the Job?
Chemical exposures can occur across a wide range of industries. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), those most at risk include:
- Food service workers
- Cosmetologists and others working in salons
- Health care workers
- Agricultural workers
- Cleaning industry workers
- Painters and others working with and around paints and solvents
- Construction workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Oil and gas industry workers
- Textile workers
- Paper and print manufacturing workers
According to the CDC, some of the most common toxic chemical exposures causing serious injury include carbon monoxide poisoning, ammonia gas inhalation, chlorine gas exposure, burns or organ damage from exposure to hydrochloric acid, and sulphuric acid burns.
Some chemical exposures are abrupt and do lasting harm–or may even be fatal–on first exposure. For example, in late 2019 the manager of a Burlington, Massachusetts restaurant died after an accidental mixing of cleaning products created toxic fumes. But others are quietly doing damage over time, meaning that the employee may have no idea of the harm for months or years.
The seriousness of the injury can vary, too, from skin irritation and burns to neurological problems, long-term lung and other organ damage, cancer, and even death. Some non-fatal exposures can trigger lifelong limitations, making it impossible for the affected worker to earn a living or significantly limiting employment options.
Workers’ Compensation Claims for Chemical Exposure
Establishing a claim for illness or injury caused by chemical exposure in the workplace can be relatively straightforward or extremely complex. The more serious and longer-term the injury or debilitating condition is, the more likely it is that the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will put up a fight, attempting to cast doubt on the illness or injury being work-related, minimize the harm, or push the injured worker into a quick settlement that leaves long-term costs unaddressed.
That’s why it’s important that you understand your rights, and also the procedures you must follow in order to protect your claim.
Attorney Kevin P. Broderick has been helping injured workers and victims of occupational illness and toxic exposures secure the compensation they deserve for decades. Attorney Broderick and his staff understand how traumatic a serious injury or illness can be, and know that you can’t rely on your employer or the workers’ compensation carrier for accurate information. We also know how easy it is to make serious mistakes when you’re under pressure, sick or injured, and uncertain about the future.
That’s why Broderick Law Firm, LLC offers free consultations to Massachusetts and New Hampshire workers who have been injured or have been exposed to toxic substances on the job. And, there’s no fee unless and until we secure compensation for you.
If you’ve suffered a chemical exposure at work or have lost a loved one to a work-related toxic exposure or other injury, give yourself the benefit of knowledgeable guidance. Schedule your free consultation right now by calling 978-459-3085 or fill out the contact form on this site to get a free consultation. Even if you aren’t sure if you have a case, it is always better to call and ask.
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