When you think about on-the-job injuries, you probably don’t consider exposure to hazardous chemicals. However, this is a risk across many manufacturing industries.
You don’t necessarily have to break a bone or take a bang on the head to be eligible for workers’ compensation. Becoming sick or injured from occupational exposure to substances that are hazardous to human health may also qualify you for a claim.
Metal production and fabrication
Those involved in metal fabrication and production face many chemical exposure risks. Some of the substances used in this industry and their health risks are:
- Cadmium. Causes gastrointestinal, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive and other cancers
- Toluene. Causes respiratory distress, birth defects, sudden abortion, organ damage and death
- Chromium. Extremely toxic and known to cause cancer
You can probably work safely with or near these substances by following industry guidelines and using personal protective gear.
Workers in the petroleum industry often face exposure to many hazardous chemicals. Examples of such substances are:
- Hydrogen sulfide. Causes immediate respiratory distress and can lead to death very quickly
- 1,3-Butdiene. Causes cancer with high or long-term exposure and can damage the cardiovascular and nervous systems
- Produced water. Workers may be exposed when water escapes during oil and gas drilling operations. Produced water may contain toxic chemicals such as benzene, toluene, xylene and even radiation.
To enhance your safety, consider possible exposure to dangerous substances before accepting any job offer. While industries like these promise lucrative earnings in California, you must weigh their economic rewards against the odds of suffering a severe illness or injury.
If you do become injured or sickened while working, you can protect your right to obtain workers’ compensation benefits by speaking with a legal representative.