Types of Toxic Exposure at Nebraska Job Sites
Exposure to lead, asbestos, heavy metals, and chemical fumes is a risk associated with industries such as construction and mining.
Workers’ compensation laws require employers to pay workers’ medical expenses for work-related injuries and illnesses. This includes not only traumatic injuries resulting from workplace accidents but also occupational diseases. Many occupations increase the risk of certain diseases because they involve exposure to hazards that are easy to avoid unless you are working in that occupation. Exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos and heavy metals is a hazard associated with some types of construction jobs but complying with the workplace safety standards set by OSHA can reduce workers’ risk of exposure to disease-causing levels of these substances. An Omaha workers’ compensation lawyer can help you resolve disputes with your employer related to occupational exposure to toxic substances or workers’ compensation claims for occupational illnesses.
Occupational Exposure to Asbestos
Asbestos exposure on the job is the leading cause of mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs and chest wall. Although new construction with asbestos, a highly fireproof form of insulation, stopped decades ago because of the associated health risks, many old structures still contain asbestos, so workers renovating those buildings may still be exposed to it.
Lead Exposure on the Job
Exposure to lead paint, whether through dust inhalation or accidental ingestion of paint chips, can cause neurological damage. Current regulations prohibit the use of lead in paints and other consumer products, but it continues to be used in certain industrial settings. Nebraska is even the site of several lead mines. Lead mining is the occupation that carries the highest risk of lead exposure.
Exposure to Chemical Fumes
Lots of jobs involve exposure to unpleasant smelling chemicals, but most of these will not harm you in the concentrations during which you are exposed to them by doing your job. Conversely, some welding techniques expose workers to fumes containing manganese particles which, if inhaled, can cause pulmonary fibrosis or damage the liver, kidneys, or nervous system. Likewise, prolonged exposure to pesticides and herbicides used in agriculture and landscaping can cause cancer. The makers of an herbicide called Roundup have settled lawsuits with over 11,000 workers who claim that they developed cancer due to occupational exposure to Roundup.
How to Avoid Occupational Exposure to Toxic Substances
Employers should provide appropriate safety equipment to workers whose jobs require proximity to hazardous substances. Depending on the work and the substance, this equipment should include helmets, goggles, gloves, protective suits and footwear, or respirators. Employers should limit the amount of time each worker spends in the vicinity of the hazardous substance by rotating workstations frequently. Employers should also ensure that they are complying with current OSHA regulations regarding hazardous substances in the workplace.
Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO About Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Substances
A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file a claim for an occupational disease resulting from exposure to hazardous chemicals or other dangerous substances in your workplace. Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO in Omaha, Nebraska about your case.