Most workplaces have some types of chemicals or substances that can be toxic and dangerous, regardless of industry. At the law office of Kaylor, Kaylor & Leto, P.A., we know that you do not have to work in a chemical engineering plant to face chemical hazards on the job. Even the cleaning supplies in your office broom closet can harm you if you are not prepared on how to handle them or your workplace lacks information on proper use and first aid procedures.
According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your employer should have material safety data sheets (MSDS) on each kind of chemical substance used in your workplace. Additionally, each container of chemicals should be accurately labeled, and employees should be provided training on how to use them. For example, many restaurants and cleaning companies use concentrated solutions that should be properly diluted before they are safe to use. Failing to dilute the solution enough could result in skin burns or lung damage from inhalation.
Your and your co-workers should also know what to do in case of an overexposure, which should be provided on the MSDS and the product label, as well as covered in training. It is important to know, for example, if you can treat a toxic exposure by simply rinsing with water or if you should immediately go to the emergency room.
Workers’ compensation should cover injuries related to toxic substance exposure at work, as our page explains. In some cases, experienced counsel can help you get the help you need.