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Does workers’ compensation cover chemical exposure injuries?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2019 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers on almost all California job sites are exposed to hazardous chemicals. Whether they manufacture chemicals or use it for cleaning, exposure can cause bodily harm. For this reason, employers must ensure that workers are aware of the hazards posed by the chemicals with which they work and practice safe storage and labeling protocols. A significant number of workers’ compensation claims result from harm caused by toxic chemicals.

Chemicals have four routes of entry into the bodies of workers, the most common of which is inhalation. Once toxic fumes are inhaled, it can form a respiratory tract deposit, causing anything from minor irritation to severe destruction of tissues. Ingesting chemicals that accidentally get into a worker’s mouth is another possibility, which can damage the gastrointestinal tract if it is corrosive. However, if it enters the bloodstream via the digestive tract, organ damage is likely.

Harmful chemicals can also be absorbed through the skin or even the eyes. Skin absorption can give chemicals access to the bloodstream, leading to organ damage. However, if chemicals should get into a worker’s eyes, the consequences could cause irritation and redness, but some chemicals can cause blindness. Injection is the least likely rout into the body, and it happens when a contaminated object with a sharp point or edge penetrates the skin. This is also a route into the bloodstream.

California workers who suffer the consequences of exposure to harmful chemicals will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Some injured workers utilize the services of an attorney with experience in dealing with the state-regulated insurance system. With the help of legal counsel, a benefits claim can be filed while the victim works on recovering and returning to work.