Workplace injuries involving harmful substances can have long-lasting effects, and may impact nearly every type of employee. Workers who are exposed to heavy metals, dust particles, paints, solvents, or acids are not only at higher risk of sudden injuries, but also more likely to develop conditions that worsen over time—leading to early retirement or even early death.
Common Occupational Injuries Caused by Toxic Chemicals
While chemical exposure injuries are most common in work environments where dangerous chemicals are used regularly, such as among factory workers or miners, any building that uses toxic substances and doesn't have proper ventilation can result in systemic conditions that take months to overcome.
Injuries that can occur due to chemical exposure may include:
- Burns. Skin contact with caustic substances can cause chemical burns and widespread rashes that may leave scarring.
- Blindness. Substances that make contact with the eyes can cause blindness, or an employee may suffer vision problems as a result of daily chemical exposure.
- Throat injuries. Employees may swallow tiny amounts of chemicals that settle as dust particles in food areas or leak into the workplace water supply.
- Breathing problems. Fumes from paints and solvents often result in lung damage, such as chronic inflammation and asthma.
- Brain damage. Prolonged exposure to lead and other chemicals can result in neurological injuries that may be permanent.
- Cancer. Coal dust, asbestos, pesticides, and other carcinogens may build up in the body, especially in workers who suffer regular exposure, such as landscapers and construction workers.
While employees who suffer exposure to harmful chemicals while on the job are covered by workers’ compensation, injured workers must prove that the exposure to hazardous chemicals was the direct cause of the injury.
The attorneys at Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. can listen to the details of your case and investigate the connection between your injury and your employment. Contact us today by filling out the quick contact form on this page, or order your free copy of our book, It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Workers’ Comp, to learn more about your employee rights.