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Preventing Toxic Exposure in the Workplace

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Industrial and manual workers in fields such as construction, manufacturing, and mining often face plenty of risks in their workplace. Unfortunately, these jobs involve hazardous tasks and equipment that could lead to devastating accidents. Among the dangers they commonly face is the risk to toxic exposure.

Constant and prolonged exposure to hazardous chemicals can inflict harm and lead to devastating physical symptoms, especially when proper safety regulations aren’t practiced. For one, it’s important that each employee dealing with such substances are properly suited in protective gear to avoid direct contact with the harmful materials they’re working with. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), under the Department of Labor, have also made several recommendations to control and minimize the occurrence of toxic exposure in the workplace.

According to OHSA, prescribing protective gear and equipment is not enough to protect workers from harmful exposures. The next step should involve updating administrative and work practice controls to make the entire process even more safe and efficient. One way this can be done is by rotating tasks or adjusting certain work schedules so that no worker remains overexposed to a toxic material.

Employers should also change certain engineering controls to better contain the hazards involved in the job. For example, isolating or enclosing the process where hazardous substances are involved can help reduce unnecessary exposure in the entire work area. However, for OHSA, the best solution is eliminating the risk of exposure altogether through the use of substitute materials.

When taken into practice, these simple recommendations can help reduce the risk of toxic exposure in the workplace. Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. With proper precautions and regulations, they can help prevent devastating accidents and injuries such as poisoning and chemical burns from happening.

If you or anyone you know is currently suffering from the harmful effects of toxic exposure in the workplace, it’s important to seek out legal counsel and learn which actions you can take. Your options and avenues will differ depending on which state you live. Contact an experienced lawyer in your area.

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