Workers' compensation: Gun range workers risk lead poisoning

Following years of complaints and reports about exposure to lead dust at a gun range in Santa Clara County, California's Department of Toxic Substances Control and the county's Environmental Health Department inspected a gun range. This was to determine the levels of lead to which workers and patrons are exposed. Victims of work-related lead poisoning file many workers' compensation claims each year.

After discovering dangerous levels of lead dust, the gun range and the adjacent gymnastic training center for youths were ordered closed until the necessary systems are installed to filter and contain lead dust. Reportedly, the results of the tests indicated elevated risks of lead exposure for occupants of the two businesses. Workers, patrons and young gymnasts risked exposure, and another threat is posed by lead dust adhering to clothes that can expose people at home.

It was reported that the gun range had received multiple warning letters over the years, with one dating back to 2006. At that time, workers who were tested showed dangerous levels of lead in their blood. The facility was warned to establish a lead safety program as soon as possible, but the recent inspection indicated that the business owners did not heed those warnings.

Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin that could have adverse health consequences. California workers who work in facilities where such hazards exist might be wise to have their blood tested for elevated lead levels. This must then be reported to the employer immediately to get the wheels rolling for insurance benefits. An experienced workers' compensation attorney can help affected workers to obtain compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

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