Hazards in the workplace come in many forms. An employee could be injured due to motor vehicle accidents, falls, repetitive motions, and many others. Some employees in California and across the country are harmed as a result of toxic exposure to lead. Despite regulations in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workers in various fields, including mining and construction, suffer each year as a result of lead exposure.
Lead was the cause of one of the first recorded work-related illnesses. Those who worked with the substance thousands of years ago became ill with what was called “lead colic.” Centuries later, in 2012, over 1 million tons of lead was produced in the United States. Some reports estimate that over 1.6 million workers are exposed to lead.
Such exposure occurs in a variety of occupations. Construction workers may be particularly susceptible as they demolish structures containing lead paint and other lead fixtures as well as install them. Once lead is inhaled or ingested — through contaminated clothing or work surfaces, for example — it can be distributed throughout the body and cause a variety of problems. Some side effects of lead exposure include neurological and gastrointestinal effects, kidney disease, and anemia.
Unfortunately, those suffering from toxic exposure to lead may require medical treatment. For some in California, this could result in financial complications as a result of medical expenses and lost wages. Fortunately, they may qualify for workers’ compensation insurance benefits. An experienced attorney can help these victims seek needed compensation due to exposure to lead in the workplace.
Source: osha.gov, “Lead“, Accessed on Oct. 12, 2016