Holding a job at a dangerous place of employment does not mean you are bound to suffer an injury. Even inherently dangerous jobs are required to meet safety standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There are times when even the safest of workplaces fall victim to an accident, including ones involving chemical exposure. Here’s what you should do following chemical exposure in Georgia.
Prior to a chemical exposure taking place, it’s a good idea to find out what toxins are present at your workplace. Find out where they are stored, how they are used, who has access to them and where the safety equipment is located should you be asked to use the chemicals.
If you are exposed to a dangerous chemical at work, the first thing you must do is notify a supervisor and call the proper authorities. This could include calling 911 for fire, EMS and hazmat to respond to your location. Depending on the chemical exposure, the hazmat team might need to evacuate the premises and quarantine the building until cleanup is complete.
You should never refuse medical treatment if exposed to chemicals at work. Let the responding EMS unit transport you to the appropriate hospital for examination and monitoring. Make sure you document all medical treatment you receive following exposure.
Don’t explain anything about the exposure to your employer until you speak with a workers’ compensation attorney first. You do not want to implicate yourself in the exposure or risk losing out on workers’ compensation benefits stemming from the exposure that occurred on the job.
If you are not injured or sickened badly, consider taking some pictures of your work area where the chemical exposure took place. These pictures could be useful in any workers’ compensation claim you file.