In many industries, workers are at risk of being exposed to toxic chemicals. Exposure to hazardous materials can lead to immediate consequences and long-term health effects, and you may be entitled to compensation if your daily work puts you in contact with harsh chemicals. However, you do have to meet a fairly high burden of proof to seek compensation.
Common Hazardous Materials Found in the Workplace
It’s important to educate yourself on the materials you use at work and their chemical composition. Your workplace should have a Material Safety Data Sheet for each chemical you come into contact with as part of your regular duties. Chemicals that can cause serious damage to employees include:
Dangerous chemicals are present in a wide range of substances and work materials, including:
- Wood preservatives
- Automobile exhaust
- Petroleum products
- Medical waste
Burden of Proof
When you seek workers’ compensation for exposure to hazardous chemicals, you must successfully demonstrate that your health problems are a direct result of the exposure. There are several ways that this is measured. First, you have to demonstrate that you were actually exposed to the chemical or material in question. Next, you must be able to prove your level of exposure. Finally, you’re required to show that the level of exposure you suffered can cause the injuries or illness in question.
This is why it’s important to consider working with a workers’ compensation attorney. They understand what it takes to build a strong case and can secure the expert testimony needed to solidify your workers’ compensation claim, reducing the amount of work you need to do while healing from an illness or injury.
Possible Injuries and Illnesses
The effects of hazardous material exposure vary widely, depending on which materials you come into contact with, how much of the material is present in each exposure, and the frequency of exposure. Possible illnesses and injuries may include:
- Chemical burns
- Asbestos poisoning
- Various types of cancer
- Breathing issues, including respiratory diseases
- Throat injuries
- Brain damage
- Nerve damage
- Metal poisoning
How Workers’ Compensation Can Help
It’s clear that working with hazardous chemicals can negatively impact your health, whether you suffer a small chemical burn or receive a cancer diagnosis as a result of your work. Your expenses could quickly become substantial, especially if your diagnosis leaves you unable to work or shortens your lifespan. If you file a workers’ compensation claim and you’re able to meet the burden of proof set forth by the state of Florida, you could be able to get compensation for medical bills, rehabilitative treatment, partial or total disability, mileage reimbursement, and lost income.
Has a Workplace Injury Derailed Your Finances? We’re Here to Help
At Sternberg | Forsythe, P.A. , we are dedicated to helping injured employees get the compensation they deserve. If exposure to toxic chemicals has impacted your health, call our West Palm Beach office at 561-687-5660 to schedule a consultation.