Workers Can Become Ill Through Workplace Exposure to Harmful Substances

workers' comp for chemical inhalationAccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace fatalities caused by exposure to a harmful substance or environment has increased by over 85 percent between 2013 and 2018.

Workers exposed to toxic chemicals, electricity, and temperature extremes on the job are at risk of being killed or injured. On average in the U.S. each year, about 45 workers are killed—and many more are injured—by inhaling harmful substances in the workplace. When this happens at an Ohio workplace, these injured workers, or the survivors of workers killed, may have Ohio workers’ compensation.

Common Toxic Inhalants in the Workplace

People who work with toxic materials should be provided with protective gear and respirators if necessary. A worker who breathes in a toxic airborne substance may suffer immediate injury or—if exposed to small amounts over many years—may develop an occupational disease.

Some common workplace inhalants include:

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Chlorine
  • Cleaning solvents
  • De-greaser
  • Gasoline
  • Methane
  • Paint and paint thinner

Many different kinds of professionals can be exposed to dangerous gases on the job. Mechanics, construction workers, custodians, food service personnel, painters, and factory workers may all come in contact with toxic substances on the job.

Workers’ Comp Is No-Fault Insurance

If you become ill after exposure to a toxic substance at work, seek medical care immediately. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover the cost of treatment, and any time you have to take off if you're unable to work for eight or more days.

This coverage applies even if your own actions led to your exposure. For example, if you dropped a bottle of solvent and were overcome by the fumes, you're still covered by workers’ comp.

By the same token, if you're exposed because your employer failed to follow safety guidelines, you probably don't have grounds to sue your employer for damages.

How Jim Monast Can Help

If you encounter difficulties in filing your workers’ comp claim with your employer—or you're unfairly denied coverage—call my office in Arlington Heights to see if I can help. I've assisted injured and disabled workers in Ohio for over 30 years. To learn more about the workers’ compensation process, request a free download of my book The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio and then call me. 

 

James Monast
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Fighting for Ohio’s Injured Workers and their Families
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