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What qualifies as a hazardous material at a workplace?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2019 | Workplace Injuries |

Texas residents have rights to safety every time they get up and head out the door to work. Whether you work at a construction site or a fast food restaurant, the United States Department of Labor gives you the right to work in conditions without the risk of serious harm. Workers are also entitled to training and information at a level they understand regarding how to prevent workplace hazards and how to identify them.

Workers can also file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration if they feel their workplace rights are being violated. They have the right to do so without retaliation from their employer, and they can also review records of any work-related illnesses or injuries. One serious problem that workers face in almost every industry is the presence of harmful chemicals, and it benefits the worker to know how to deal with them.

Chemicals exist in either solid form, liquid form or gas form. Some of the more common chemicals used in the workplace include caustic substances, acids, cleaning products, heavy metals such as cadmium, aluminum and mercury, glue, pesticides, paint, solvents, petroleum products and photocopier toner. The body can be affected by these chemicals when they are breathed in or absorbed by the skin, depending on the chemical.

To help employers keep workers safe, importers and chemical manufacturers must evaluate the hazards of the product they produce. Labels must be accurate, and the buyer must have safety data sheets for all downstream customers and workers. Employers are required to label any hazardous chemicals for exposed workers. Workers should also be trained on the proper way to use and dispose of any chemical.  Workers should be aware of the dangers of working with the chemical and how they can protect themselves from these risks.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.