Many industrial manufacturers did not understand for many years that there are more dangers in the work place than mere physical problems. Obvious safety hazards were eventually addressed as occupational safety agencies were established in each state, but the emphasis on airborne safety hazards were the last to receive proper attention. Much of this attention began in the court system when workers who were breathing toxic chemicals began to file suit. Rules have been established since that time to help workers working in hazardous chemical breathing spaces, but the contamination possibilities still exist in specific workplaces and still calamities occur.

1. Occupational Breathing Hazards

Companies that have potentially toxic breathing spaces now routinely require breathing protection for workers in the affected area. Full breathing masks are required in some industries like asbestos abatement. Asbestos is the classic hazardous material that was outlawed during the 1970s when its toxic properties became apparent. The form of cancer produced by asbestos often takes 20 years to manifest. This discovery also revealed the fact that many other chemicals can produce lung injuries. Protective work wear is now regularly ordered by the state OSHA agencies and all companies know when they need some form of breathing protection. 

2. Occupational Skin Hazards

Occupational skin disorders or injuries account for approximately half of all workplace injuries. Diagnoses of these injuries are normally done through medical testing, but workers in similar areas of employment can often recognize the damage visually. This is particularly true of the food industry, as this is by far the most common industry resulting in various skin injuries. The food industry includes a wide range of manufacturing processes, often beginning with animal slaughtering and including contact with pesticides by production workers. Construction workers are also subject to skin cancer over the life of their career, which can be a problematic legal situation when filing a claim. An injury that appears as a rash can often be much more serious, and may be the result of negligence on the part of an employer. So if you were to find yourself caught in a predicament, you will need to take decisive action to ensure your claim is not looked over by your employer.

Proving Long Term Negligence

Many skin or breathing disorders sustained in employment occur over long periods of time. Even when employers have followed occupational safety standard rules, including measurement logs, negligence can still be validated in court by an experienced and effective bad faith personal injury lawyer. Some injuries are obvious and the body reacts quickly. These are relatively easier cases to prove, but are usually isolated incidents. Cases that involve multiple incidents of breathing or skin disorders give the personal injury professional more evidence to present in court, including the possibility of a class action legal motion. Personal injuries that are the result of negligence are determined under the preponderance standard and are effectively a 51-49 measurement of evidence. 

Researcher Nickey Williams contributes this article for work safety awareness. The lawyers of Doyle Raizner LLP go the distance to help those with employment injuries wade through the claims process with their insurance carriers, such as workers compensation Liberty Mutual. Having legal representation during these stressful situations can help you keep your focus and make sure nothing that works in your favor is omitted.   

Note: Employers should take all safety precautions for their workers who are exposed to breathing hazards, and other risky work.  Texas America Safety has a vast array of quality breathing, skin, and glove protection.