Occupational exposure in California occurs when a worker is exposed to biological, physical, or chemical substances that pose a threat of potentially harmful effects or injury to the body. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that there are 650,000 chemicals, collectively, in workplaces across the U.S., and every year, new chemicals are added. Thus, chemical exposure in the workplace is inevitable, despite the permissible exposure limits (PEL) set and regulated by OSHA.
If someone has been exposed to toxic chemicals in the workplace, suspects that their health has been negatively affected by toxic exposure, or has been medically diagnosed with a toxic chemical exposure illness or injury, they should speak with a toxic exposure attorney as soon as they can following their awareness of their illness. Filing a claim for a chemical exposure injury can be difficult without experience. It is important to consult a lawyer with past successful cases related to injuries that occurred as a result of exposure to workplace toxins. They can alleviate the stressful nature of employment law and maximize disability benefits claims.
Canlas Law Group has extensive experience and knowledge about state laws that protect workers from harmful exposure to chemicals and other toxins in the workplace. For those who have been inadvertently exposed and suffered an injury as a result, our qualified attorneys are equipped to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim and prepared to represent you in litigation if necessary. Our aggressive approach in the courtroom lends well to our compassionate approach to our clients. We believe in a personal client-attorney relationship and attribute this primary principle of our law firm to the success of our legal team in recovering millions of dollars for our clients.
Toxic exposure is defined as having contact, whether indirectly or directly, with any man-made or natural substance or agent that can harmfully affect the body. It can do so by either changing its normal ability to function or the bodily structure itself, leading to illness, injury, or the death of a worker. The California Occupational Safety and Health Act (COSHA) and the California Labor Code legally require all employers to provide and keep a healthy and safe work environment for all employees. Despite this, though, workplace injuries caused by exposure to harmful substances or environments have been steadily increasing over the past decade.
There are four types of toxic exposure. These include:
All are covered under the California workers’ compensation system. If you’ve been injured by toxic exposure in any of these forms, employ the help of an attorney who is well-versed in employment law as early as possible. They can potentially arrive at a more favorable outcome in your case.
Some workplace chemicals cause toxic exposure more so than others. Some of the riskier toxic chemicals that workers are often harmfully exposed to include the following substances. The first two listed are the most dangerous in relation to the amount needed to cause damage:
Exposure to toxic chemicals can produce other chronic or acute effects in workers. Chronic effects are the result of long-term exposure to harmful substances and can develop and worsen over time. These injuries are usually permanent and can result in permanent disability benefits if approached properly, with adequate supporting proof of disability. Examples of chronic effects of exposure to harmful toxins include:
Acute effects are those that come on immediately upon exposure to a toxic substance and can appear to be minor, such as sneezing, itching or a rash, an inability to breathe, or a sore throat. Other potential symptoms of toxic exposure include the following effects:
The first thing you should do if you are suffering from the effects of toxic workplace exposure is seek medical attention. If you are diagnosed with an illness related to exposure to toxic chemicals from your job, get documentation in writing of your diagnosis. Next, report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, providing documentation of your diagnosis from a medical professional. This is crucial to filing a workers’ comp claim.
Explain to your employer that your injury or illness is a result of exposure to toxic chemicals at work so that you can receive the appropriate treatment for your condition. The process that you will need to complete to properly file a claim for workers’ compensation is complicated and difficult, to say the least. Hiring a toxic exposure attorney can ease the stress of filing a claim by:
Toxic exposure is human contact, whether indirect or direct, with a substance, either natural or man-made, that causes negative and deleterious effects on the structure, function, or overall health of the body. Toxic is not the same as hazardous, which is the potential of a chemical to cause bodily harm.
An example of toxic exposure is the exposure of firefighters to toxic chemicals in firefighting foam and protective suits that can lead to testicular and other cancers, damage to kidneys, and harm to the immune system. Another example is a gun range operator who has long-term exposure to lead from constant gunfire.
Some common symptoms of exposure to toxins include:
This list is just a sampling of the many potential symptoms that can occur with a toxic exposure illness, as there may be a number of other related symptoms.
Toxic exposure risk activity (TERA) refers to military acts or services that subject individuals to a high risk of exposure to hazardous substances, as military personnel are frequently at risk of toxic chemical exposure. An example of this is the exposure of combat soldiers to Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide used in U.S. military operations in the Vietnam War.
If you have been injured due to toxic exposure in your workplace, you may have a legitimate workers’ compensation claim. To know for sure, contact Canlas Law Group to speak with a qualified Orange County toxic exposure at work lawyer to determine the ideal option for your situation.