Toxic Exposure & Workers’ Comp in Florida
Unfortunately toxic exposure on-the-job can take many forms and may not show up until after a prolonged exposure. A job may involve handling potentially hazardous materials or a toxin can spill, exposing workers to unusually high levels of dangerous substances. If you’ve suffered as the result of exposure to toxic chemicals, contact a Jacksonville workers’ comp lawyer at Farah & Farah.
Some dangerous chemicals and elements that can be found in the workplace include asbestos, benzene, vinyl chloride, manganese, mercury, paints, solvents, plastic production, welding materials and toxic exhaust.
Many on-the-job injuries are caused by accidents in the workplace, and others occur in the form of illnesses that develop over time. Symptoms of illness caused by toxic exposure in the workplace could take years, or even decades, to develop.
Workers in factories, mines, construction, and other more hazardous jobsites are not the only people who can be injured by toxic exposure. Even office workers can suffer harmful effects from cleaning and various other types of chemicals when work areas have not been properly ventilated.
When illness results from toxic exposure in the workplace, employees may not be immediately aware of what is causing their symptoms. However, once it becomes known to the worker that the illness is work-related, he or she has the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits.
For too many workers we find out after the fact that their job led to their disability. Asbestos exposure is known to cause mesothelioma, a debilitating lung disease that can lead to death. The dangers of the welding profession are well known. The welder is exposed to manganese fumes that are toxic and have been linked to Parkinson’s disease, brain damage, and something known as “welder’s syndrome,” which results in tremors, depression, slurred speech and poor balance.
Welding jobs are found in many lines of work including glass and steel mills, metal plant, pipe fitting and railroad construction.
Both the FDA and OSHA require warning labels be placed on dangerous products in the workplace. An employer is supposed to conduct safety training and offer the appropriate protective gear and clothing.
Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma
Inhaling or swallowing airborne asbestos fibers is the primary cause of mesothelioma – a life-threatening cancer in the lining of the lungs. One of the most disturbing things about asbestos exposure is that symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades after exposure to appear — 20 to 50 years. Sadly, an estimated 11 million people were exposed to asbestos between 1940 and 1978 and 2 to 10% of those who heavy asbestos exposure will develop mesothelioma.
Damages That Last a Lifetime
Many of the effects from exposure to toxic chemicals last a lifetime and may include brain damage, cancer, blindness, burns, reproductive harm, lung damage, organ damage, skin scarring and disfigurement, and eye damage. Some of these exposures continue to worsen in time such as mesothelioma and Parkinson’s disease.
Some diseases that result from an exposure to toxins may not show up immediately such as cancer, but can develop over time due to the workplace exposure.
Toxic Exposure in the Workplace and Personal Injury Claims
After toxic exposure injury in the workplace, you have two possible options for compensation. Most workers injured on the job are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits with no need to prove who was at fault. However, workers’ comp will not compensate you for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, punitive damages, or other types of compensation that may be pursued in personal injury claims.
Under certain circumstances, a manufacturer or party who controlled the worksite other than the employer may be held liable for injuries caused by toxic exposure. If your exposure to a toxic substance was caused by the negligence of another party, you may have a valid third-party claim for damages. Our Jacksonville work injury attorneys at Farah & Farah can assist you to explore the various options available to you under the law.
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If you have been harmed by toxic exposure in the workplace, you should contact the Jacksonville personal injury lawyers at Farah & Farah who will preserve your workers’ compensation rights. You may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and monetary compensation for your toxic exposure-related illness.