It’s unfortunate that many people’s professions take them into close proximity to toxic and dangerous substances. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes guidelines so that companies understand what responsibilities they have to workers. Part of this is understanding the limits of what are acceptable levels of exposure for various substances. Even with these standards in place, some employers don’t follow the rules for protecting their workers and contractors.
How does exposure affect the body
Exposure to toxic chemicals can have both immediately life-threatening as well as long-term consequences. Some substances have carcinogenic or mutagenic properties that can cause cancer or debilitating health effects later on in life. Some of those conditions can include fetal abnormalities, respiratory diseases, burns, systemic toxicity, blindness as well as more minor, but potentially chronic, conditions. It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that its workers have the proper safety equipment when working around noxious chemicals and other hazards. Here are some common forms of protective clothing and equipment:
- Safety goggles
- Hazmat suits
- Chemical-resistant gloves
- Steel-toed boots
An essential part of workplace safety is its equipment. Depending on the hazard, the following fixtures may be required:
- Eyewash stations
- Fire extinguishers
- Ventilation units/fans
- Safe exits/egresses
- Safety checklists and protocols
Understanding when negligence occurs
When a company ignores OSHA regulations or fails to act in producing a safe environment for its workers, that business may be liable when someone gets hurt. If you’ve been injured on a job, it’s crucial to determine if your employer acted negligently leading up to your accident.