Chemical Exposure

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

The Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates are known for their dedication to helping workers who are suffering from an occupational illness or disease. For over 20 years, we have taken action to provide for employees and families facing the long-term effects of work place injuries such as chemical exposure. Our Boston office serves injured workers throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

Chemical Exposure at Work

Millions of U.S. workers are exposed to hazardous chemicals each day. Any job can place employees at risk of adverse health effects caused by acute spills or chronic exposure to toxins. Chemical exposure at the job site often involves:

  • Manufacturing
  • Chemical plants
  • Lead-based paint
  • Asbestos removal
  • Biological research
  • Agriculture, logging
  • Automotive, trucking
  • Woodworking, glazes
  • Factories, power plants
  • Construction equipment
  • Medical/dental health care
  • Mining, natural gas drilling

Workers can be exposed to harmful toxins by ingesting, inhaling, or touching chemicals that are accidentally or intentionally released. Harmful carcinogens can have immediate or cumulative effects, from causing tears or burns to terminal illness and death.

Chemical Exposure Rules

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, sets forth regulations governing chemical exposure in the workplace. Employers are required to limit employee exposure to hazardous chemicals through various means involving:

  • Gas detectors
  • Reagent testing
  • Hygiene training
  • Hazmat warnings
  • Protective clothing
  • Listing carcinogens
  • Disposal procedures
  • Emergency practices

Under these rules, a chemical is a health hazard if it causes skin or eye irritation upon contact. Serious carcinogens and mutagens also cause asphyxiation, skin corrosion, and eye damage. Long-term effects of exposure can result in organ or reproductive toxicity and even death.

Reducing Contamination

In addition to providing the means to reduce employee exposure, employers must also prevent the spread of contaminants outside the workplace. This may require instructing employees to shower prior to leaving work or change clothes exposed to dust, fibers, radiation, or fumes. All masks, gloves, and coveralls should be left at work or laundered separately from other clothing. Any spills, accidents, or injuries involving chemical exposure should be reported immediately.

Workers’ Compensation

Massachusetts law provides workers’ compensation benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to chemical exposure. This “no fault” system functions like insurance to protect employers from liability for most workplace injuries. Rather than suing the employer, employees typically seek workers’ compensation in the form of cash payments for lost income, medical expenses, and other benefits while out of work due to occupational illness or disease.

If chemical exposure prevents work in the same capacity or only at a reduced wage, workers are entitled to disability benefits. Because skin corrosion and eye damage often result from contact with chemicals, workers may also receive a one-time payment in addition to regular benefits for permanent scarring, disfigurement, or vision loss. In cases of fatality caused by chemical exposure, surviving family members and dependents may be awarded death or survivor benefits.

Successfully Recovering Benefits

If you were injured or became ill due chemical exposure at work, the Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates can help. For over 20 years, we have recovered benefits for injured workers and surviving family members across Massachusetts. We fight for your rights before the Department of Industrial Accidents to protect your finances and the future of those you love. Our Boston office represents injured workers in Essex, Norfolk, Middlesex, Suffolk, Plymouth, and Merrimack counties, among others. Call (800) 367-0871 today for a free consultation or contact us online.