Chemical exposure is a concern for many industrial workers here in California and elsewhere around the country. Without the proper safety precautions, an industrial accident can leave a worker with an injury or illness. On May 6, an out-of-state man who worked with hazardous chemicals was found in a restroom at the place where he worked. He was unresponsive.

The 55-year-old man worked at the foundry for approximately 38 years. During that time, he was exposed to resin-containing isocyanates, which can have adverse physical effects on anyone exposed. Exposure to isocyantes can cause tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing and irritation to numerous body parts, including the lungs.

Even if exposure is kept below the limits permitted by law, repeated exposure can lead to health issues — especially if a worker suffers from other health conditions. Understandably, it is the responsibility of every employer to ensure that workers are properly trained to deal with exposure and provided appropriate equipment to minimize their risk. When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration came in to conduct its investigation after the incident, it found that Wisconsin’s Bremer Manufacturing Co. Inc. failed to properly train its employees regarding the health and physical hazards associated with the chemicals used at the foundry and issued citations to the company.

California industrial workers have the right to a safe workplace. When a company fails to provide its workers with the necessary safety training and equipment, an industrial accident is probable. Anyone who suffers an injury or contracts an illness under these conditions is typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover medical costs, lost income and temporary disability during recovery. Other benefits may be available if a permanent disability is suffered. If a worker dies, the victim’s dependents are normally entitled to death benefits.

Source: fox6now.com, “Elkhart Lake foundry cited by OSHA after worker found unresponsive in bathroom“, Katie Delong, Nov. 6, 2014