On-the-job exposure to harmful chemicals is a serious problem that’s happening in workplaces throughout the U.S. So, how can you protect yourself from the potentially life-threatening effects of toxic exposure at work? Do your homework. By law, you are entitled to work in an environment that is both safe and healthy. If toxic or otherwise hazardous chemicals are present, your employer is legally obligated to inform you.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are the most common way to present this type of information, as they provide a comprehensive overview of the harmful substances in your workplace. In addition, they list information pertaining to the toxicity levels of any substances you may be exposed to, the health effects caused by said chemicals, as well as storage, first aid, and disposal procedures for handling the substances.
OSHA Regulations & Protections
The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was created to ensure that information about toxic / chemical substances in the workplace gets adequately presented to workers. Protective measures workers can take against toxic chemicals are also presented in the HCS. According to OSHA standards:
- Manufacturers of toxic chemicals must evaluate the potential hazards of these substances
- Manufacturers / importers must prepare labels and safety sheets with hazardous information
- Employers must make these labels and safety data sheets available and easily accessible to employees
- Employers must train employees how to properly handle hazardous chemicals
- Employers must inform employees of protective measures against harmful substances
What You Can Do If You Were Exposed
If you were exposed to dangerous chemicals and your employer did not take the appropriate steps to inform you of the potential for exposure, contact a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. You have rights that entitle you to seek legal recourse for the harm done to you.
At the Law Offices of Wax & Wax, our Glendale workers’ compensation lawyers represent employees who’ve been wrongfully injured or made ill through no fault of their own. We are ready to do the same for you. Backed by more than 100 years of combined experience and multiple professional awards and recognitions, we are the firm to trust with your toxic exposure case.
Contact us today for a consultation. We are available 24/7 to take your call.