How can workers protect themselves from toxic exposures in the workplace? What steps can workers take to protect their employee rights when they report unsafe working conditions? Toxic exposures are common. They can include contact with fuel fumes, solvents, asbestos, and airborne particulates such as sawdust. Employees exposed to toxic chemicals and hazardous substances in the workplace have the right to file formal complaints against their employer.
Toxic Exposure in the Workplace
Hazardous workplace conditions including toxic exposures in traffic accidents can increase the risk of injury or death. In 2016, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows toxic exposures were contributing causes in 518 workplace fatalities. This was the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths and accounted for 10% of all workplace fatalities recorded in the United States.
Chemicals in the workplace pose a considerable risk. In 2010, 34,400 skin diseases were traced to chemical exposure. A further 19,300 individuals suffered exposures that caused respiratory illnesses. On average, OSHA estimates that chemical exposures in the US are a contributing cause in nearly 60,000 fatalities each year. They also cause more than 860,000 personal injuries.
Some toxic exposure can take decades to manifest physical symptoms and lead to cancers. For example, it can take decades for asbestos exposure to lead to mesothelioma. In the United States, it is estimated that between 1940 and 1978, more than 11 million people were exposed to asbestos.
Moreover, it is a myth that asbestos is banned for use. While heavily regulated, asbestos is still allowed and widely used in manufacturing, construction, plastics processing, and other industries. It is found in brake pads, fire-retardant clothing, plastic tubing, and many other commonly used products that workers handle.
Protecting Employee Rights
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against an employee who files a complaint over unsafe working conditions. The Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970 protects employee rights in this regard. Workers have the option to file their complaint online, via fax or mail, and over the telephone.
Brad Pistotnik Law is an employee rights attorney with workplace accident lawyers, attorneys, lawyers, and abogados who represent clients in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Florida, Missouri, and Illinois following toxic exposures. Whether the accident occurred in Wichita, Liberal, Elbing, Burns, Hesston, Hutchinson, Haven, Andale, Maize, Park City, Augusta, Leon, Derby, Mulvane, Belle Plaine, Conway Springs, Cheney, Pretty Prairie, Pratt, Cullison, Luka, Preston, Penalosa, Coats, Elm Mills, Nashville, Sun City, Lake City, Zenda, Willowdale, Wilmore, Coldwater, Protection, Buttermilk, Hastings, Omaha, Stillwater, Tulsa, Topeka, Dodge City, Offerle, Kinsley, Lewis, Spearville, Cimarron, Montezuma, Fowler, Meade, Bloom, Sitka, Ashland, Rodkey, Mansfield, Wolf, Lakin, Plymell, Arnold, Alanthus, Utica, Beeler, Alamota, Dighton, Shields, Healty, Arny, Manning, Rexford, Gem, Colby, Jennings, Lenora, Studley, Penokee, Hill City, Voda, Quinter, Gove City, Achilles, Brewster, Edmond, Oberlin, Ludell, Herndon, Atwood, Densmore, Oronoque, Burr Oak, Lebanon, Kensington, Phillipsburg, Glade, Speed, Osborne, Portis, or elsewhere in these states, our employee rights lawyers can help clients pursue claims following toxic exposures.
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