Exposure to industrial chemicals can have severe consequences. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has strict standards in place to protect those who work in industries where they could be at risk. Despite these regulations, the California workers' compensation program continues to receive benefits claims for workers who were affected by hazardous industrial chemicals.
Hazmat units recently rushed to evacuate more than 20 workers from a metal finishing facility after they were exposed to toxic fumes. Reportedly, the situation developed when 55 gallons of ammonium chloride were transferred from one drum to a second container that still contained remnants of another chemical. The combination caused hazardous fumes to develop.
Industrial chemicals could come in liquid, gas or aerosol form, and it could enter workers' bodies through the skin, inhalation or digestion. The manner in which it enters the body will determine the time it takes to affect the worker. Authorities say the most rapid poisoning typically occurs when the fumes of hazardous industrial chemicals enter the lungs through inhalation. Depending on the level of exposure, affected workers could need emergency medical care, and they might even suffer temporary disabilities.
While affected workers recover, they might experience concern about the financial consequences. Along with medical expenses, the loss of wages might jeopardize the ability to care for their families. Fortunately, the California workers' compensation insurance program is there to help. The benefits claims process could seem daunting, but an experienced attorney can guide them through every step along the way. With the support of legal counsel, the injured employees can focus on recovering and getting back to work.