Workplace injury comes in many forms, including broken bones and other acute injuries, back problems, chronic illness, and brain damage. Another category of workplace injury, those involving chemicals, is a serious issue in certain industries. The Occupational Safety and Health Organization has recognized the problem and put standards in place with which organizations handling, using or storing hazardous chemicals must comply.
The number of companies bound by these OSHA standards is significant—over 5 million across the United States. In Pennsylvania, specialized training is available at Penn State University aimed at getting businesses up to speed with new standards.
It really is in the interest of companies to ensure they are in compliance with safety rules. Companies that do not comply with OSHA regulations, of course, can face citations and fines, as well as continued investigation. In addition, injured workers have the right to file for workers’ compensation when they suffer a workplace injury, and this can increase costs for companies.
Workers who are injured by chemical spills or any other workplace hazard need to understand not only their right to workers’ compensation, but also how to recognize employers who attempt to avoid the extra costs of workers’ comp filings, and what to do when an employer refuses to cooperate. In some cases, employers really drag their feet over worker’s comp filings, opposing them on various grounds or retaliating against an employee for exercising their rights. Retaliation, of course, is illegal and workers in this situation need to have a strong advocate at their side to ensure their rights are protected.
Source: Penn State News, “PennTAP training works to prevent chemical injuries in the workplace,”