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Keeping workers safe from illnesses caused by silica exposure

One of the most important roles of a New York employer is prioritizing the safety of all workers. In many types of work environments, this means minimizing the risk of an accident and making sure workers know how to safely do their jobs. In certain types of work environments, this also means that workers are not facing exposure to certain types of toxic materials, such as silica.

Silica exposure is a major concern for workers who breathe in these particles. It can lead to the development of serious health conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration takes silica exposure seriously, and this organization has taken steps to implement various regulations and standards for employers. If you work in an environment where you may deal with this type of exposure, you need to know how to stay as safe as reasonably possible and what to do if you get sick.

What can silica exposure do?

Silica exposure may seem harmless enough, but these tiny particles can have an effect on you that can change your life. When inhaled, silica can cause massive internal damage, but you may not understand the full effect until much later. It can cause lung disease, kidney problems and liver issues. Workers with prolonged exposure can face a heightened chance of developing certain types of cancers. It is a threat that every employer should take seriously.

What should employers do?

According to OSHA, employers should do several things to reduce the chance of harmful exposure. One thing is to implement alternate and safer procedures when possible. Other regulations mandated by OSHA include:

  • Provide comprehensive medical exams for potentially exposed workers every three years
  • Train workers to do their jobs safely and how to limit tasks that could lead to silica exposure
  • Keep detailed records of exposure data and other information about worker well-being, such as medical exam results

Failure to abide by these regulations not only needlessly exposes workers to the potential for harmful inhalation, but it can also lead to expensive penalties and repercussions.

What if you are sick?

Learning that you became ill as the result of something related to your work can be devastating. However, there are options available to you. There are certain types of benefits available to workers who need support, medical care and time away from the job. If you want to learn more about how you can get the help you need and deserve, you may want to seek legal guidance after a diagnosis.

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