Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

Safer respiratory gear for hazardous workplaces

Maryland workers who deal with hazardous materials at their jobsshould wear respiratory protection. In 2012, 110 people died due to exposure to hazardous substances at work, and lost work days appeared in over 15,000 cases. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is looking at ways to encourage compliance with respiratory protection.

Workers are more likely to wear respiratory gear that is comfortable, lightweight, and not too difficult to breathe or see out of, so comfort is now a priority in making respirators. Employers have a role to play as well. They need to have a program for cleaning and maintaining respirators. These types of equipment must also be stored correctly, and manufacturers' recommendations must be followed in caring for them.

It is critical that safety professionals in the workplace have a thorough understanding of hazards and processes as well as products and by-products. This enables them to select the correct respiratory gear for workers.

There are many ways a person may be injured or made ill in the workplace, and the worker may be eligible for workers' compensation. This is the case regardless of who is at fault in the accident. However, a person who is injured may want to consult an attorney to discuss their rights and next steps. An attorney can assist with workers' compensation paperwork and any appeals that may arise. An attorney may also be of assistance if a worker is injured due to an employer failing to observe safety standards. For example, if a person becomes ill while working with hazardous material and it turns out that the employer did not provide the needed safety equipment, the worker may want to take other steps instead of filing for workers' compensation to cover medical expenses and lost wages.

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