April 28, 2015- Chesterfield, VA
A chemical leak at DuPont’s Richmond Zytel plant sent twenty DuPont employees and two Chesterfield County firefighters to the hospital for possible exposure to vapor. This is in addition to twelve other employees, who were treated at the scene but did not require hospitalization.
According to Chesterfield Fire officials, the leak occurred during routine line maintenance at the plant and was contained within the plant. The leaked vapor was flammable, prompting emergency fire response. However, the leak did not result in any fire and no community evacuations were needed.
The latest report by NBC12 news indicates that while inhalation of the vapor can irritate the lungs and throat, any injuries suffered by those exposed were minor and hospitalization was largely a precautionary measure. Remaining DuPont workers near the incident were relocated to other plant offices.
Exposure to toxins and chemicals while on-the-job can result in serious illness or injury, and may entitle those affected to workers’ compensation benefits. At times, workers may not even be aware that what they are exposed to while at work is harmful.
Toxins that may result in job-related medical conditions include toxic fumes, industrial chemicals, lead, asbestos, and toxic mold. Exposure to any of these substances can result in poisoning, cognitive conditions, mesothelioma, lung cancer, asthma, respiratory distress, and other health complications.
In Virginia, firefighters and Department of Emergency Management hazardous materials offers are afforded special protections under the law. For the purposes of obtaining workers’ compensation, respiratory diseases that cause death or any health conditions or impairment automatically entitle firefighters and hazardous materials officers to benefits.
For non-emergency response employees, proving that workplace exposure to hazardous materials resulted in their condition is particularly complex. If you believe that exposure to toxins and chemicals at the workplace caused your injury or medical condition, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at ReidGoodwin today.