If you have sustained injuries resulting from a chemical exposure while on the job, there are two options for you.
Chemical exposure can occur in any employment situation. Workers in factories handling chemicals and other dangerous materials are more prone to toxic exposure; however, office workers have also been exposed to fumes from cleaning agents and paint due to poor ventilation.
The Responsibility of the Employer
Employees in factories handling dangerous chemicals are exposed when their personal protective gear and other safety equipment are damaged or inadequate. There are different types of protective gear and safety equipment for handling different chemicals. Personal protective gear includes goggles, face masks, gloves, boots, full body suits, and helmets.
Work spaces are required to have proper ventilation and essential safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, showers, and water jets for washing off chemicals. If any of the essential gear and equipment is inadequate or faulty, there is a risk that an employee will be exposed to harmful chemicals. It is the employer’s responsibility and duty to provide employees with the necessary gear and equipment.
Common Toxic Substances
Common toxic substances which may cause injury to an employee are asbestos, acids, benzene, paints, solvents, pesticides, and mercury. Inhalation of fumes from these substances, skin contact, or accidental consumption can cause injuries which may vary from mild to severe. Common injuries are burns and rashes; however, many chemicals are known to cause cancer or brain damage as well.
If you have sustained injuries resulting from chemical exposure while on the job, there are two options for you – a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim. Which claim is appropriate depends on where the incident occurred and where the chemical came from.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
If you have been injured on your jobsite, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim. This claim does not require any fault to be established against the employer or a fellow worker. You re required to prove that exposure to the chemicals occurred on the job site and you sustained injuries because of the chemical exposure. Report the accident to your supervisor immediately and explain how the exposure occurred. Seek medical attention and inform the health care provider about the nature of the chemical that you were exposed to.
Personal Injury Claims
When you are injured at work, you are only entitled to a workers’ compensation claim. You cannot file a personal injury claim against your employer. However, if you have been injured by chemical exposure due to the negligence of anyone other than your employer, then a personal injury lawsuit may be filed. A personal injury lawsuit is also referred to as a third-party claim and you will have to prove the fault of the third-party involved.
Missouri Workers’ Comp Attorney
Injuries involving chemical exposure can be quite serious, and the claim may become quite complicated if it involves a third party. Seek legal advice from a knowledgeable Missouri workers’ compensation lawyer. Call The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.