Those workers who are injured or suffer health damage due to occupational exposure while performing the duties of their job may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits under California law. Occupational exposure refers to the exposure to chemical, physical, or biological substances that pose a risk of potential harm. Such substances can include toxic chemicals, toxic fumes, such as diesel fumes, airborne materials such as coal dust, infectious materials, such as found in the blood or bodily fluids of infected patients, radiation, drugs used in cancer and other medical research, toxic materials used in construction, and more.
According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), those industries with the highest number of harmful substances in the workplace include health services, transportation equipment, electrical and electronic equipment, machinery, fabricated metal products, primary metal industries, rubber and miscellaneous plastics products, instruments and related products, chemicals and allied products, and textile mill products. In a study done several decades ago, NIOSH found that janitors and cleaning personnel, assemblers, chemists, clinical lab technicians, engineers, machinists and machine operators, mechanics, and painters were among the employees with the highest potential for occupational exposure. An occupation that has been well-publicized for its exposure to asbestos resulting in lung cancer and other diseases is that of mining. Asbestos was used in thousands of products and industries in the last century, from household products to tools to buildings, factories, cars, and trains.
In the case of occupational exposure, it may take years for the exposure to develop into an adverse health condition or disease. Proving causality between the exposure to a toxic substance and the health condition is the key to making a convincing case in a California workers' compensation claim. In order to ensure that your claim is handled properly and thoroughly to increase your chances of a fair outcome, you should consider working with a competent attorney. At the Law Offices of Haleh Shekarchian, we have been assisting clients in Southern California with injury claims since 1993. Our firm knows the workers' compensation system; we can use all of our extensive experience and knowhow to help you get the compensation to which you are entitled.