Some people suffer from ailments and are completely unaware of the origin or how they contracted them. Take a moment and consider your work place. Do you work around any chemicals? Are you a mechanic exposed to fumes and exhaust all day? Do you handle one product day after day?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that an estimated 190,000 illnesses in the United States are from chemical exposure in the work place. Deaths from these illnesses are estimated at 50,000. These numbers are considered to be “underestimated” due to the fact that many of these illnesses or diseases often do not show up until years later.
This is why chemical exposure is called an invisible hazard. If you have been burnt or contracted sores, you may be able to identify the cause, but if you are experiencing respiratory problems, such as asthma, COPD, shortness of breath or skin irritations and rashes, the cause may be unknown to you. Explore your environments including your work place, and maybe past work places if you have an ongoing illness.
Have you been missing a lot of work because you are ill all the time or fatigued and don’t know why? This could also be due to exposure to an unknown source. Investigate the cause of your illness. If your illness or other infirmity is due to chemical exposure in the work place, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. You can be compensated for any related medical expenses and may even be compensated for any lost wages or income. Talk to an attorney to help you receive the maximum amount of workers’ compensation for your illness or injury.
According to the OSHA, businesses should be taking action to try to eliminate chemical hazards in the workplace. Factory employees are probably some of the most common places for chemical exposure, where many different products that often contain dangerous substances are used to manufacture products. A factory worker often works in an assembly line being exposed to the same type of plastic or treated material day after day. Remember, it may take years before an illness shows up. Make sure your work place is safe!
Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “Transitioning to Safer Chemicals: A Toolkit for Employers and Workers,” accessed Oct. 30, 2015