Many jobs come with risks, and some of those risks are severe. Workers in California may find themselves close to toxic substances as part of their routine duties. Federal and state laws do mandate numerous protections, but accidents do happen. If employees are injured while working around toxic substances, they may wish to review their rights to seek compensation.
The core component of protecting workers from toxic substances is “control.” That is, the employer could take steps to deal directly with the toxic substance and its risks. One way to do so involves control by elimination. In short, removing the toxic substance from the premises without delay could reduce risks.
Substituting one substance for another may cut down hazards as well. If possible, switching from a hazardous material to a decidedly less hazardous one could improve safety. For example, decades ago, many projects involved the use of asbestos. In subsequent years, discoveries about asbestos’ health hazards led to substituting different materials. Workers cannot get sick from asbestos if there is no asbestos anywhere near them.
Various administrative steps might help the cause of cutting down on workplace hazards. Rotating shifts, for example, could reduce a worker’s exposure to toxins. Instead of requiring one worker to spend eight hours in an area with exposure risks, rotating workers to cut the exposure time to four hours may be better. A failure to provide workers with the necessary protective clothing and gear could be gross negligence as could the failure to maintain or upgrade personal protective equipment.
When injured on the job, an employee may have a valid workers’ compensation claim. An attorney may help handle the submission of the initial forms and even deal with appeals if necessary.