On a Monday evening earlier this month, hazmat crews, firefighters and paramedics rushed to the premises of a California manufacturer of aerospace products after receiving calls about workers exposed to hazardous chemicals. An investigation was immediately launched to determine which chemical caused the workplace injuries. Reportedly, 40 people were evacuated after being affected by the irritant, which was not immediately identified, and eight of them were hospitalized.
Two days later, an inspector with the Los Angeles County Fire Department reported that cadmium was identified as the irritant that overwhelmed the workers. He said cadmium is used in the aerospace industry to make rubber. However, the common use of cadmium is in rechargeable batteries and electroplating.
A spokesperson of the manufacturing company at which the exposure occurred said the facility creates formulas for various harsh-environment elastomer products. The manufacturing process of these products involves multiple chemical components. She asserted that the top priority of the company remains the safety of the workers.
The California Division of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation to determine the company’s compliance with safety regulations. However, regardless of the outcome of such an investigation, victims of workplace injuries can proceed with the process to file benefits claims with the workers’ compensation insurance program. Those who find the claims process too complicated are free to seek the support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. A lawyer can assist with the administrative and legal proceedings in pursuit of compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.