Many employees in a variety of workplaces are at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals. If you’ve been injured by toxic exposure while at work, you are able to file a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on the nature of your injuries and your exposure, it is possible that workers’ compensation may be your best option.
How Does Chemical Exposure Happen at Work?
While the words “toxic exposure” may send your thoughts to superheroes and villains, the truth is, it doesn’t take a freak lab accident to become exposed to hazardous chemicals. You may be exposed to many chemicals, both harmless and harmful, in the course of your day-to-day activities. Custodial workers and healthcare workers can be exposed to harsh cleaners. Mechanics may be exposed to vehicle exhaust fumes for years on end. Even those who wear hazard protective suits can become exposed.
Some of the common chemical types that can cause injury include:
- Reducing agents
- Alkylating agents
There are many types of injuries that can occur from toxic exposure. The most common injuries are to the skin and respiratory system, though other parts of the body can be impacted as well. Here are some signs of toxic exposure injuries:
- Chest pains, excessive coughing, and choking.
- Miscarriages, birth defects, and infertility
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Headaches, dizziness, and convulsions
What Can I Do If I’ve Been Exposed to Toxic Materials At Work?
Your first step should be to seek medical attention. It may be possible that years of exposure has built up into a considerable health problem, or the effects may be more immediate. Whatever your injury is, begin treatment as soon as possible for it. Your physician may refer you to a specialist that is better suited to meet your medical treatment needs as well. Once your injuries or illness has been addressed, you can handle the rest of your claim.
If your doctor or specialist has determined that your injuries are indeed work-related, your next step should be to notify your employer and inform them of your injuries. Your employer should provide you with the appropriate forms to begin your claim.
Together with your doctor and your employer, you should work to eliminate or limit your exposure to the toxic material that is causing your condition. This is important for your healing as well as for preventing further injury and complicating your claim.
You should also speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about your case. They can advise you as to how you should proceed with your claim and can assist you with every step. Gathering evidence to prove that your injuries are work-related is critical, and your lawyer can begin the collection process. This may include sampling and testing your workplace, gathering medical records, and speaking with toxic chemical experts.
At Pierce, Herns, Sloan & Wilson, LLC, we know the difficulties you may be facing after an on-the-job injury, especially for an injury related to toxic exposure. Our Charleston workers’ compensation attorneys have the experience, skill, and knowledge to support your during your case, no matter how complex it may be. We are ready to fight for you and ensure that your rights are protected.
Contact our team by calling (843) 968-0886 to schedule a free case evaluation today.