June 30, 2015- Richmond, VA
Eight workers were exposed to hazardous materials Tuesday morning after a container filled with a vinegar-based product spilled at Central Transport near the intersection of N. Hopkins Road and Jefferson Davis Highway.
According to NBC12 News, the affected employees were examined by hospital staff shortly after the incident. Fire crews that responded to the scene reported that the workers appeared to be in good condition. While emergency responders were able to swiftly identify and neutralize the spilled materials, the 3600 block of N. Hopkins Road remains closed to traffic.
For those who work with and around hazardous materials, the risk associated with dangerous situations like the one described above is ever-present. Whether workplace exposure to toxic chemicals is sudden or ongoing, the resulting damage can end careers, and even lives.
While the transport, containment, and storage of hazardous materials is heavily regulated, hazardous material spills still occur with some frequency across Virginia.
Employees who have been exposed to chemicals may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Painful and/or labored breathing
- Respiratory distress
- Light sensitivity
- Swollen, watery eyes
- Skin irritations and lesions
- Blurry and/or impaired vision
Under Virginia law, an occupational disease must arise out of and in the course of employment in order to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Diseases of the back, neck, or spinal column are not considered to be occupational diseases for the purposes of obtaining workers’ compensation.
To determine whether an occupational disease may be covered under Virginia workers’ compensation, examples of issues the court may consider include:
- Whether there is a direct causal connection between the conditions under which the work is performed/ the type of work done by the worker and the occupational disease.
- Whether the worker would have had substantial exposure to the cause of the occupational disease, were it not for the nature of their employment.
- Whether the cause of the occupational disease is a source the general population isn’t readily exposed to.
If you interact with chemicals, hazardous materials, or toxic substances while at work, you may be at risk. Contact the experienced workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at ReidGoodwin today to schedule a legal evaluation.