Workers Compensation Claims for Toxic Chemical Exposure

August 21, 2015

workers comp lawyer PhiladelphiaThere are some industries where workers are exposed to harmful chemicals, often on a daily basis. Some of these chemicals can cause injuries or death. Exposure to toxic chemicals causes more than 10% of all occupational deaths in the United States. It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that employees have a safe work environment, but sometimes, those safety precautions are not enough to protect workers and they still get exposed to chemicals and toxins that can make them sick. Workers who are injured or suffer from diseases caused by exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace can often file workers’ compensation claims.

Types of chemical exposure injuries

Injuries from chemical exposure can occur all at once in an accidental spill, but they can also occur slowly over time, as the workers inhale the fumes, ingest chemical particles or get exposed to it on their skin. Depending on how the worker was exposed there are different ways in which injuries can occur. According to the CDC, more than 13 million workers in the U.S. are being exposed to toxic chemicals that can be absorbed through the skin, which can result in occupational skin diseases (OSD) and systemic toxicity. Occupational skin diseases are the second most common occupations disease, which can take several forms including:

  • Irritant contact dermatitis
  • Allergic contact dermatitis
  • Skin cancers
  • Skin infections
  • Skin injuries
  • Other miscellaneous skin diseases

Some of the more common hazardous substances that can be found in the workplace include:

  • Arsenic
  • Asbestos
  • Asphalt fumes
  • Benzene
  • Beryllium
  • 1-Bromopropane
  • 1,3-Butadiene
  • Cadmium
  • Chromium
  • Diacetyl
  • Diesel exhaust
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hexavalent chromium
  • Hydrogen sulfide
  • Isocyanates
  • Lead
  • Mercury
  • Metals, toxic
  • Metalworking fluids
  • Methylene chloride
  • Silica, crystalline
  • Solvents
  • Synthetic mineral fibers
  • Toluene

Proving exposure to toxic chemicals

If you believe that your illness might have been caused by exposure to toxic chemicals in your workplace, you may be able to file a workers’ compensation claim to cover your medical expenses and lost time at work.

It might be challenging to prove a causal link between your illness and chemical exposure at work, as the progression of the illness may be slow and gradual due to prolonged exposure. If your employer has not been adhering to the strict guidelines with regard to safe chemical handling in the workplace from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, they can be held liable for their employees resulting injuries. A Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates can help you.

If you have suffered a workplace injury or illness from exposure to toxic chemicals, you may contact the Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates. We can help protect your rights. We maintain multiple offices serving clients in and around Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties.