Depending on your profession, you may realize that you work in close proximity to toxins on a regular basis. Of course, you take the proper safety precautions in an attempt to avoid injury or illness.
Unfortunately, there are times when workers receive exposure to toxins and hazardous chemicals. In some cases these people are aware of the exposure. There are also situations in which a person doesn’t learn about the exposure until later on.
Here’s the one thing you need to know: The law requires that your employer tell you if there are toxins at your workplace. A Material Safety Data Sheet, also known as an MSDS, typically includes this information.
Here are some steps to take if toxins are present in your workplace:
- Substitution. This can mean many things, such as replacing an existing process with one that is safer.
- Isolation. This is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when the isolation of a toxin keeps it away from employees.
- Ventilation. Proper ventilation is one of the best ways to control a potentially hazardous airborne substance.
- Personal protective equipment. Anyone who knows they could come in contact with a toxin should wear the proper personal protective gear. This can include but is not limited to goggles, protective clothing and a personal ventilator.
If you have any reason to believe that you have been exposed to a toxin at your workplace, don’t wait another day to receive medical treatment. You need to learn more about the toxin and the impact on your body.
In the event that the exposure will keep you away from your job in the future, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The money you receive can be used to pay for expenses while you recover.