Chemical-Related Accidents Can be Serious
Some people go to work in industrial environments and face the risk of accidents and injuries on a daily basis. One important risk is of chemical-related accidents, which can cause severe injuries to many workers at a time. Missouri employers are required to have adequate workers’ compensation insurance that provides benefits to workers who sustain serious injuries on the job, including chemical-related injuries. To discuss a claim after a serious workplace accident, call our Springfield and Joplin workers’ compensation lawyers as soon as possible.
The Risks of Chemical Accidents
“Chemical accident” refers to the release of hazardous substances that causes exposure for people in the vicinity. Exposure could mean contact with the skin or eyes, ingesting the substance, or inhaling the substance. Chemical accidents can also lead to fires or explosions. The most tragic chemical accident reported worldwide happened in India in 1984 when over 3,000 people died and 500,000 were injured after a pesticide factory unintentionally leaked methyl isocyanate, a highly toxic vapor, into the air. Chemical accidents can cause many types of injuries, including:
- Respiratory problems
- Brain damage
- Vision loss
- Toxic burns
- Permanent disfigurement
Serious injuries can result from an acute injury from a single event, or over time from a slow leak at an industrial plant. In either situation, workers can sustain severe injuries and even permanent disabilities due to chemical accidents.
How Chemical Accidents Happen
Any plant that manufactures, stores, or uses chemicals runs the risk of a chemical accident occurring. While some chemical accidents cannot be avoided, others can be traced to a mistake on the part of the employer or an employee. Some common causes include:
- Insufficient training regarding chemical handling and storage
- Unauthorized access to part of the plant
- Faulty or inadequate safety equipment
- Unclear or insufficient safety procedures
- Defective storage containers or equipment
When it comes to a workers’ compensation claim, who was at fault for the accident does not matter. Workers are entitled to benefits no matter how the accident happened, and even if they were negligent themselves. However, it is important to recognize the common causes to prevent accidents in the future.
Understand Your Rights
If you suffered a serious chemical burn or another type of injury at work, you are entitled to benefits for certain losses, including:
- The costs of all necessary medical treatment
- A percentage of your lost wages for missing work
- Benefits for short- or long-term disabilities that prevent you from working
When you are trying to recover from a chemical injury and adjust to life with an impairment or disfigurement, the last thing you need to deal with is a difficult workers’ compensation insurance company. Instead, contact a trusted law firm in Missouri to handle every step of your claim for you.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Springfield or Joplin Today
The workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Firm of Webster & Carlton help workers file claims, appeal denials, and much more. Call us toll-free at (417) 545-3775 (Springfield) or (417) 545-3775 (Joplin) or contact us online right away.