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Workers’ Compensation and Chemical Exposure


Local 10 News recently reported that the general manager of a Buffalo Wild Wings died after two cleaning agents combined to create toxic fumes in the restaurant’s kitchen. Officials have asserted that the incident, which occurred in the Boston area, began during the early afternoon of a recent Thursday when workers and customers began coughing and had to leave the facility as fumes spread. The 32-year-old worker was taken to a hospital where he fatally succumbed to the chemical exposure. In addition, thirteen other people, including eleven more workers, had to be hospitalized with burning eyes and difficulty breathing.

Authorities have asserted that this tragedy began because a restaurant employee combined a chlorine bleach-based product, Super 8, and an acid-based cleaner, Scale Kleen, on the kitchen floor while cleaning. Unfortunately, the accidental mixing of chemicals can trigger a chemical reaction that leads to tragic consequences. However, this is far from the only cause of these workplace accidents.

How Dangerous Can Chemical-Related Workplace Accidents Be?

Unfortunately, many of the most serious hazards in the workplace are the ones we can’t see. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 41 U.S. workers died on the job after a single episode of inhaling chemicals and chemical products in 2017 alone. This equated to 7 more fatal injuries than in 2016. This number ranged between 33 and 55 fatal injuries each year from 2011 to 2017, with a total of 297 fatalities across the 7-year span.

What Are Chemicals That Often Present a Hazard in the Workplace?

Unfortunately, dangerous chemicals can exist in almost any workplace environment. Common toxic chemicals that can cause injury to employees on the job include substances such as:

  • Asbestos
  • Lead
  • Paint
  • Benzene
  • Cyanide
  • Pesticides
  • Mercury
  • Silica
  • Acids

Some chemicals, such as asbestos and cyanide, are particularly concerning because they are so toxic that even a very small amount can cause health problems, but all can lead to debilitating consequences.

Obtaining Workers’ Compensation and Chemical Exposure

The health effects on a worker’s body after exposure to chemicals can be acute or chronic. Regardless, it is important to understand that a worker who has been injured while working in the scope of employment is generally entitled to be compensated for the resulting expenses without having to prove the injury was due to the employer’s negligence. Expenses can help offset unexpected costs such as medical bills and lost wages. However, being able to collect workers’ compensation benefits for your chemical exposure injury can be a complicated process that should begin with the help of an experienced attorney.

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured?

If you have suffered a workplace injury due to chemical exposure, you should reach out to a knowledgeable legal team right away. Workers’ compensation laws can be complex to grasp and you last thing you need while focused on your recovery is to struggle to understand the law. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, we can help make sense of it all for you. We have over 25 years of experience helping injured workers collect the benefits they deserve after a workplace injury and we can help you obtain the best possible result. The law requires you to file your claim within a certain period of time after your injury, so contact us today to begin ensuring you receive all the compensation you may be legally entitled to.


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