Despite their legal obligation to provide a workplace free from recognizable hazards, many employers still fail to implement effective programs that keep workers safe. Carcinogens (or substances known to cause cancers) in the workplace are extremely hazardous to person’s health, and sometimes they inflict fatal or permanently disabling medical complications. If an employer’s negligence results in an employee’s illness or injury, the worker can file a workers’ compensation claim – but all of this is preventable by taking the necessary steps and prioritizing workers’ safety and health.
Asbestos is so dangerous because when a person inhales asbestos fibers it can lead to an array of health issues, including scarring of the lung tissue, loss of lung function, respiratory disabilities, lung and stomach cancers, and even death. Certain organizations like the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) publish studies on known and probable carcinogens. According to these agencies, the ten most common carcinogens found in workplaces are:
Limited exposure to known and probable carcinogens usually is not life threatening, but the same does not ring true for workers who are exposed to these hazards on a daily basis. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in addition to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, some of the best ways to protect workers from the potentially deadly harms associated with carcinogens is to implement an OSHA-approved safety and health plan comparable to ones that limit asbestos risks. OSHA created numerous federal standards for protecting workers from asbestos, many of which include requiring employers to take precautionary measures like:
Employers must provide a safe and healthful workplace, so they need to familiarize themselves with OSHA’s asbestos standards to protect workers from risks associated with known and probable carcinogens. There are many other steps that they can take to effectively guard workers from these hazards, such as providing every worker with hazard awareness training before they perform any carcinogen or asbestos-related operation.
If you are a worker who became ill as a result of your employer’s negligence or failure to provide a safe workplace, someone at our firm can help. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured during the course of their employment. To learn more about how to file a workers’ compensation claim, please contact a representative at our firm who can answer your questions.
With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading Galfand Berger serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation with our legal team, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.