Most people associate accidents on the job or at the workplace with physical injuries that come from falling or issues with heavy machinery and other objects. Many people do not consider that chemicals can be just as dangerous in job settings, causing injuries that are just as severe as the injuries that come from falling or getting hurt by machines or heavy objects. But instead of broken bones, torn muscles, and head injuries, chemical accidents and incidents can lead to burns, breathing issues, blindness, cancer, and even death.

It is important for workers to be aware of the issues that arise when working with chemicals, but even despite the best safety measures, accidents can still happen. People who work in chemical manufacturing plants are especially vulnerable. If you have been involved in an accident with chemicals on the job or have gotten sick from prolonged chemical exposure at work, call a Philadelphia workers compensation lawyer.

Burns

Certain chemicals can burn you if they come into contact with your skin. The chemicals that you might encounter on the job that can cause skin burns include alkalis and acids. Alkalis can be found in bleaches and other industrial cleaners, whereas acids are found in sulfuric acid and others commonly used in different industries.

Even if you are being extremely careful, chemicals can splash and land on exposed parts of your skin. In some cases, it only takes a drop to cause a serious burn. If you have been burned by a chemical, brush off the dry chemical (without touching it again) and rinse off any remaining liquid chemical with cool water. Then seek immediate medical attention to make sure that it does not get infected or worse. If chemicals get in your eyes at any point, rinse your eye out as best you can and go the emergency room immediately, because it could cause blindness.

Respiratory issues

If you work in a job that uses chemicals frequently, either for cleaning or other purposes, you could have spent years breathing in chemicals that can cause damage to your respiratory system. Even inhaling certain chemicals once, such as chlorine bleach and other noxious chemicals, can cause serious issues to your respiratory system..

By breathing in chemicals, you could suffer from asthma or from chemical pneumonitis , which results in difficulty breathing, coughing, and shortness of breath. If you have developed either of these conditions, you should contact a Philadelphia workers compensation attorney right away, because it is sometimes difficult to prove to your employer that these conditions (especially asthma) are the result of your job and not something you previously had.

Cancer

Many workers develop cancer after prolonged exposure to certain chemicals. A common form of chemically induced cancer is mesothelioma , which affects workers who have been exposed to asbestos, such as construction workers. Mesothelioma is when a tumor develops in the tissue that lines your organs, such as your heart, stomach, or lungs. There are other forms of cancer that can develop from chemical exposure as well.

As with respiratory issues, it is important that you contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer if you develop cancer because of chemical exposure on the job. It is easy to argue that the cancer came from another source because of the difficulties in locating the precise cause of many cancers. Furthermore, cancer sometimes does not show symptoms until several years after you stop working, and current laws make it much harder to get workers compensation benefits for medical issues whose symptoms do not occur within 300 weeks of your last day on the job.

Death

Some chemicals, if not used correctly or if they come in contact with your body in some way, can even kill you. High concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, liquid nicotine, and others can kill you even if you briefly come into contact with them. And if someone makes the mistake of mixing ammonia with bleach while cleaning, it could create a toxic gas that could kill you if breathed in.

Chemical exposure on the job is serious business and should not be taken lightly. They can cause painful injuries and serious illnesses or diseases that could take years to cure or treat. If you have been hurt in any way or have gotten sick because of exposure to chemicals at your place of work, call our offices to speak to a skilled workers compensation lawyer today.

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