Depending on the nature of your job, it is possible that you could face exposure to certain dangerous chemicals in the workplace. Chemical exposure could lead to significant physical harm, causing health complications that could impact your health for years to come. If you become ill because of the occupational requirements of your job, you have the right to seek workers' compensation benefits.
Workers' compensation benefits are not only for the Nebraska workers who suffer injuries in workplace accidents, but they are also for individuals who are suffering from occupational illnesses caused by toxic exposure. You could have a rightful claim to this type of financial support, even if your initial exposure took place months or years earlier. You are entitled to care and support as you pursue a full recovery.
Ways that employers can keep workers safer
When the requirements of a job cause a worker to come into contact with a dangerous substance, there are things that an employer should do to limit contact, minimize dangerous exposure and make the job safer. Safety standards and practices can limit the risk of a worker eventually getting sick because of toxic exposure. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, some ways to do this include the following:
- Eliminate the exposure, when possible, or use various substitutions to limit exposure
- Change processes through isolation or enclosure
- Implement ventilation, fume hoods and use wet methods to reduce toxic dust
- Rotate job assignments so one person is not overexposed
- Provide gloves, safety glasses and any other necessary protective equipment
It is also important for employees to receive adequate safety training in order to know how to be as safe as possible while on the job. While some jobs do require that workers come into contact with or in the vicinity of toxic substances, that does not mean that they do not have the right to a reasonable expectation of safety.
Your rights after toxic exposure
If you became ill because of toxic exposure at your work, you have the right to seek benefits through workers' compensation insurance. You are entitled to medical care, recovery of a portion of your lost wages and more.
Navigating the workers' compensation claims process is not always easy. It can be difficult to complete the paperwork, deal with any challenges and appeal a denied claim. You do not have to walk through this process alone, and you can seek guidance from the initial stages.