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Avoid the hazards of toxic chemical exposure

The manufacturing industry comprises a significant percentage of the New Jersey workforce. If you work in a factory, warehouse or another industrial facility, you will likely be aware of the dangers of toxic agents, chemicals, corrosives and flammable or combustible substances present in this industry. Because you are entitled to a safe workplace environment, the law requires your employer to provide you with comprehensive training to protect you from harm.

Potential harm includes chemical burns, inhalation injuries and occupational skin disorders and diseases. You could ensure your safety by making sure you gather as much information as possible about the toxins in your workplace.

Safe storage and handling

Even after an extended period of storage without incidents, chemicals can be dangerous. Compliance with storage and labeling regulations is essential to avoid injuries and fatalities. Taking the following steps will reduce the chances of adverse incidents:

  • Types of substances: Learn the chemical and physical properties of every kind of hazardous material in storage. Furthermore, chemicals of certain types of substances are incompatible and must remain separate in storage.
  • Reason for storage: Frequent inventory checks can prevent unnecessary storage of hazardous substances. Acquiring chemicals as necessary could reduce the risk of harm caused by storage of these materials on site.
  • Storage location: Clearly mark allocated storage locations and ensure that environmental conditions of the permanent storage areas comply with regulations for maximum safety. However, overstocked temporary storage areas may cause accumulation of dangerous substances. Also, monitor activities in the vicinity of the storage area, which may compromise the integrity of the materials.
  • Handling of hazardous chemicals: Assess the methods used to move the substances and ensure safe handling at all times.

Removal of hazardous or toxic waste

If your job involves the disposal of toxic waste, you must take precautions to prevent contact with your skin and eyes along with inhalation of fumes. Also, assess the type of waste to ensure you practice the unique procedures for safe disposal of each substance. Wear the necessary personal protective equipment and take the following steps to stay safe:

  • Clothing: Protective clothing can prevent skin irritation caused by hazardous liquids and toxic fumes.
  • Gloves: Contact with hazardous waste can cause from skin rashes to severe chemical burns. For that reason, it is important for you to avoid re-using protective gloves. Wear a new pair of gloves every time you handle toxic waste materials.
  • Goggles: Hazardous fumes and liquids in your eyes can lead to irritation or even blindness. Make sure you wear heavy-duty safety goggles that fit properly to protect your eyes.
  • Respirator: A respirator can prevent damage to your lungs and other internal organs.
  • Prevent leakage: Always ensure that hazardous waste is in airtight containers before disposing of it.
  • Avoid shortcuts: Doing the same jobs frequently may lead to complacency. Remain vigilant and aware of the risks and avoid taking shortcuts.

Despite all the precautions, an unanticipated incident might cause contact with hazardous or toxic substances. Regardless of the severity of your injuries, the New Jersey workers' compensation insurance program offers benefits to help you cover your medical expenses and lost wages if you follow the appropriate procedures when filing a benefits claim. The help of an experienced attorney is available to help ensure you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

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