There are times when it is hard to pinpoint a medical emergency on a workplace cause. That was the case when a man working at a metal recycling facility suddenly had shortness of breath, began coughing, eye irritation and chest pressure. When the man got to the hospital, he was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
All of the man’s symptoms began when he ran through a plume of thick yellow gas. When this gas was tested, it was revealed that is was chlorine gas that had been accidentally released from a cylinder being processed for scrap metal.
The article on the CDC’s website explains that chlorine gas exposure in the workplace is rare, but at Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP, we know that there are a multitude of ways that people can get hurt at work. Often, people are harmed due to other chemicals that are not stored or properly used.
Do you know where to turn if you are injured at work due to a chemical exposure? When you need a work injury attorney in San Diego, you can count on us to secure the compensation you deserve.
What Chemicals Are There?
Over 400 million tons of hazardous waste are produced each year, which means that plenty of people in the workplace are around these materials. Here are some common hazardous chemicals we find in workplaces across the country:
- Arsenic – used in agriculture, wood preservatives, and glass production.
- Lead – commonly used in mining operations.
- Benzene – released from gasoline vapors and automobile exhaust.
- Chromium – used in solvents and petroleum products.
- Cadmium – found in man industrialized areas and released through fuel combustion, sewage, and fertilizers.
- Zinc – found in galvanized metal, motor oils, and tire dust.
- Mercury – used in metal processing, coal burning, medical waste, and more.
- Pesticides – commonly used in many industries.
Many of the chemicals above, and others not listed, can cause a wide array of problems. Some medical emergencies are apparent immediately as the case of the man we discussed at the beginning of this article. Other medical problems develop over time, like COPD and cancer.
Most of the chemical exposure problems are preventable if employers ensure that their workers are properly trained to use all chemicals and that they provide workers with all necessary safety equipment. If employers fail to do this, they should be held responsible for worker illnesses and injuries.
What Can You Do?
If you or a loved one have become injured or ill after a workplace chemical exposure, you need to seek legal assistance. Seek out the qualified and experienced team at Hiden, Rott & Oertle LLP. They will work tirelessly to secure the compensation you need after an incident like this, from medical expense coverage and lost wage recovery to pain and suffering damages. If you need a San Diego work injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 619-630-0205.