Environmental Hazards at Work

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Environmental hazards are chemicals or other toxins in the environments that cause damage when you are exposed to them. In some cases, if your employer exposes you to environmental hazards negligently, you may be entitled to recover damages.

Under the Occupational Health And Safety Act, (OSHA) your employer has a duty to minimize the risk of hazards in the workplace, and warn you about any hazards that they can’t eliminate. If you are injured as a result of exposure to hazardous chemicals or other unsafe working conditions, you may be entitled to file a claim under OSHA.

If the hazard you are exposed to is an environmental hazard, such as a chemical, pollutant, or hazardous waste, then you may also be entitled to file a toxic tort claim or an environmental lawsuit. Toxic tort claims and environmental lawsuits are a subset of personal injury cases.

Common Environmental Hazards At Work

Environmental hazards at work vary depending upon the type of job you do. Some common industry-specific environmental hazards include:

  • Dry Cleaning Chemicals and Solvents: Some of the chemicals found in dry cleaning solutions have been found to cause birth defects and other disabilities. If you work in a dry cleaners and suffered injury or damages, you may be entitled to sue your employer.
  • Pesticides and Herbicides: Some pesticides and herbicides have been found to cause serious harm to humans. If you work in an industry that involves exposure to pesticides, you may be entitled to recover damages.
  • Industrial Chemicals: A number of chemicals used in manufacturing, production, and other commercial plants, have been demonstrated to be hazardous. If you were exposed to unsafe chemicals this may create grounds for an environmental litigation lawsuit.
  • Asbestos Exposure: Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. If you were exposed to asbestos fibers at work and developed an asbestos related illness, you can file an environmental litigation suit against your employer. Asbestos injury is one of the easiest toxic torts to prove because both mesothelioma and asbestosis have only one cause: exposure to the toxin

Reporting EPA Violations

As an employee, you are also encouraged to report any violations of Environmental Protection legislation. If you suspect your employer is breaking any environmental laws, you can report these violations to the Environmental Protection Agency or your local government agency.

The law protects you from retaliation for reporting these employer lapses. If you report a violation of environmental protection laws and your employer tries to penalize you for that, you may be able to sue your employer under whistleblower protection laws.

Filing a Claim for Workplace Health Hazards

If you are exposed to an environmental hazard at work, you have to prove that this exposure caused damages. Damages can include any illnesses or monetary losses that occurred as a result of diminished ability to work.

If you can prove you were exposed to a hazard, and that the hazard caused damages, you may have a strong case against your employer. An environmental protection attorney can help you to file a lawsuit to hold your employer accountable.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice or representation,
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