Revision of Labeling Standards for Hazardous Chemicals May Save Lives

Santa Clara Workplace Injury Attorney

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In an effort to keep workers safe, the U.S. Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently revised its Hazard Communication Standard so that it is in line with the international standards created by the United Nations. According to OSHA, the new standard will save 43 lives annually and prevent about 585 workplace injuries.

The new OSHA standard, which will be fully implemented in 2016, is designed to reduce confusion about chemical hazards, increase safety training and enhance workers understanding of how to handle hazardous chemicals at work. In order to achieve this, OSHA will require that hazardous chemicals be labeled in such a way that explains in easily understood terms:

  • The dangers of the chemicals misuse
  • The dangers of exposure to the chemical
  • What to do when someone is injured by that chemical

The Dangers of Hazardous Chemicals in the Workplace

There are several kinds of hazardous materials that people can be exposed to in the workplace. These chemicals are classified as:

  • Toxic - includes substances - such as weed killers and pesticides - that are poisonous if swallowed or absorbed through the skin
  • Corrosive - materials, like acids, that can destroy any substance with which it comes into contact
  • Reactive - materials that create a poisonous gas when mixed with other chemicals
  • Ignitable - any chemical - such as gasoline or paint - which can easily burst into flames

When someone is exposed to hazardous chemicals, it can result in serious illness or injury. Chemical exposure can even cause cancer or liver failure in some cases.

Know Your Rights

If you have been injured by exposure to chemicals or other hazardous materials in the workplace, you may be eligible for workers compensation benefits. Contact a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process and get you the compensation that you deserve for your medical care and lost wages.

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John J. Garvey, III
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