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There are many ways to protect against toxins in the workplace

Do you work in an area in which toxins are present on a regular basis? If so, you need to keep your safety in mind at all times. Remember, it only takes one accident for exposure to cause a serious illness or injury.

Both employees and employers should do whatever it takes to prevent or reduce toxin exposure. While this is easier said than done, here are some of the steps that can be taken:

-- Substitution. Rather than use a hazardous item, it may be possible to substitute another.

-- Isolation. Hazards are best controlled when they are isolated, as this helps minimize exposure, especially when a person is not prepared for it.

-- Ventilation. There are many ways to control a potentially hazardous airborne substance, with proper ventilation among the best methods of doing so.

-- Personal protective equipment. If a worker knows that a toxin is present, he or she can take the necessary steps in wearing the right equipment. This alone can help reduce exposure, thus eliminating the risk of an accident that can cause an illness or injury.

Unfortunately, even when employees and employers do their best to protect against toxin exposure, there are times when this presents a problem.

If you have reason to believe that you've been injured or become ill as the result, don't hesitate to learn more about your legal rights. For example, you may be able to receive workers' compensation benefits. This could be the best way to remain financially sound while getting the treatment required for your injury or illness.

Source: FindLaw, "Toxic Exposure in the Workplace," accessed Jan. 26, 2017

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