What are the most common on-the-job chemical exposures?

 

A:

It really depends on the industry when it comes to the most common chemical exposures. Certain occupations just encounter more risks than others. It might be better to consider how people are commonly affected by chemicals at work. 

Chemicals will commonly cause skin injuries in the workplace. According to OSHA, in 2010, 34,400 recordable skin diseases were reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics at a rate of 3.4 injuries per 10,000 employees. Many chemicals can be easily absorbed through the skin, and studies show that it's possible for a worker to not even notice that it is happening. 

It's also common to breathe in chemicals. In the short term, they will normally trigger asthma-like symptoms, like coughing and trouble breathing. In the longer term, you could have asthma permanently, or some type of lung disease or cancer. 

Hazardous chemicals can be in the air, in canisters... really, anywhere. Even if you don't work in an occupation that handles chemicals on a regular basis, you could work in an older building with an asbestos problem, or you could inhale fumes from an overload of cleaning products being used. Be aware of your surroundings. If you're in any kind of potentially dangerous situation, remove yourself until it's been taken care of or you have been given the proper protection to complete your job safely. 

If you have an on-the-job injury, contact Austin attorney Earl Straight for a free consultation at 512-454-1331.