Oklahoma City Toxic Substance Exposure Lawyers
Construction work is notorious for the toll that it can take on a worker’s body. Workplace accidents are somewhat commonplace and may result in serious injuries despite thorough training and a worksite adherence to best practices. But the threat to construction worker safety is not limited to the more arduous and physically stressful job responsibilities. During the building process, there are often numerous materials and chemicals that must be used which are inherently toxic. When stored and handled properly, a construction company employee might be able to work in the vicinity of these substances without incurring any adverse health effects, but any mistakes or negligence could prove disastrous.
If you have experienced ill health effects attributable to work-related exposure to a toxic substance, you may be eligible to receive compensation and you should contact a construction injury lawyer. These funds can help ensure that you have access to the medical care that you need and that your family receives financial assistance throughout the period when you are unable to work. Contact the Oklahoma City toxic substance exposure lawyers of the Abel Law Firm at (405) 239-7046 to speak with a skilled and experienced attorney about your case.
Types of Toxic Exposure
While toxins are, unfortunately, everywhere, construction sites have unique risks for workers when it comes to the type, severity, and duration of toxin exposure. Exposure to toxins at construction sites can arise through direct contact, inhalation of fumes, or particulates in the air. Depending on the type of toxin, it may not be possible to prevent dangerous exposure even with the use of protective equipment like gloves, masks, and goggles.
Some common types of toxins found at the worksite are:
- Carbon monoxide
- Hexavalent chromium
- Coal dust
Many of these dangerous toxins were used in the construction of homes and other buildings decades ago and have since been prohibited. For construction workers performing demolition and remodeling work, exposure to lead and asbestos can be common. Asbestos was often used in the construction of shingles, tiles, and insulation before 1980. The removal of asbestos is highly regulated because there is no safe level of asbestos exposure for a person.
Lead was commonly used in paint, ceramics, pipes, and plumbing materials before the late 1970s. Lead exposure can come from sanding older painted walls, spray painting, welding, and power tool cleaning. Workers who are removing paint from homes built before 1978 are required to be trained and certified before removal.
Getting Compensation for Toxic Exposure
In Oklahoma, the laws regulating workers’ compensation include a section on occupational disease. Many of the illnesses that arise from toxic exposure are covered under the occupational disease statute or workers’ compensation laws.
It may be possible to pursue compensation in other ways, as well. If you worked on a construction site and were not trained on proper removal of toxic chemicals, your supervisors may have been negligent, and you could be entitled to compensation for your injury.
Other actions which may entitle you to compensation are if your company failed to provide the proper equipment for safe removal of dangerous toxins, your company failed to notify you that there were toxins in the facility, or if the toxic materials were not safely stored.
If you were exposed to any toxins at work, you could have serious medical complications and should contact a knowledgeable attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call Abel Law Firm today at (405) 239-7046 to speak with an Oklahoma toxic substance exposure lawyer.
Complications of Toxic Exposure
The specific effects of toxic exposure will depend upon a number of different factors, including the substance to which you were exposed, the duration of the exposure, and the intensity of the exposure. In some instances, symptoms may subside quickly with treatment, but in other cases, a construction worker may have to contend with the ailments for the rest of his or her life. The consequences of toxic exposure may include:
- Respiratory illnesses
- Some forms of cancer
- Brain damage
- Neurological damage
Asbestos, carbon monoxide, and soot frequently affect the respiratory system, leading to lung cancer, bronchitis, emphysema, and decreased blood oxygen. Lead, mercury, and hydrocarbon solvents cause damage to the renal system, leading to kidney failure, decreased blood filtration, and cancer. Other common system damage from construction toxins occurs in the skin, immune system, and hepatic systems.
Toxic exposure is not always as obvious as a physical injury. You may wonder whether you truly suffered an injury, the extent of the injury, when you were injured, and where you were injured. Toxic exposure cases can be very difficult because they require medical testing, experts, and the careful reconstruction of the events that led to your injury. The attorneys at Abel Law Firm have over 130 years of combined experience advocating for our clients in complex cases. We know how to investigate to get the answers and evidence we need to build the strongest possible case for you.
We are dedicated to representing injured Oklahoma construction workers who are simply seeking the benefits that they are due under the law. Contact the Oklahoma toxic substance exposure lawyers of the Abel Law Firm at (405) 239-7046.