Workers in nearly every occupation face a certain amount of danger and uncertainty on each shift. From muscle strain, eye damage or the repetitive stress from working in an office setting to the physical hazards associated with industrial or construction labor, workers can suffer lifetime injuries. One less obvious danger involves the presence of toxic chemicals in the workplace.
Dermal absorption is the transport of a chemical from the outer surface of the skin into the body. Since unprotected skin represents the most significant exposure pathway, most workers don’t even notice the dangerous contact has occurred.
While the chemical contact can be dangerous to the surface of the skin, workers can suffer severe conditions after the toxic material has been absorbed into the body – soft tissue, the blood stream and, ultimately, the organs. Commonly, toxic chemicals can fall into numerous categories such as pesticides and organic solvents.
The rate of progression and the severity of the resultant condition can depend on numerous factors, including:
- Skin damage – cuts or abrasions – at the site of the contact
- The amount of exposed skin
- Where on the body the exposure occurred
- The type and physical properties of the hazardous substance
- The duration of exposure
It is crucial that workers use the proper personal protective equipment at all times on the job. From respirators, to goggles to gauntlets, it is important that workers understand the risks that toxic exposure brings. If you or a loved one was injured on the job, you might be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If your claim was denied or you fear your company might retaliate against you in the form of termination or reduction in hours, it is imperative that you work with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney.