To ensure the safety of laboratory workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a standard called Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories. If you are a lab worker in Metro Atlanta who has suffered from exposure to chemicals, then you should know what the OSHA standard says; it could be that your employer failed to adhere to it.

A chemical hygiene plan

All employers that have laboratories with hazardous materials must have a chemical hygiene officer on staff whose job is to guide the development and implementation of a chemical hygiene plan. The plan is meant to limit workers’ exposure to harmful chemicals through engineering controls, the use of personal protective equipment and so on.

The plan may also incorporate special protections, such as waste handling and decontamination procedures, such as those related to specific air contaminants like benzene and formaldehyde.

Employee training is a must

Lab employees are expected to be educated on the hazards of a given work assignment. Employees should be trained on recognizing the symptoms of chemical exposure and be encouraged to have a medical evaluation done.

During assignments, employers must monitor exposure levels. OSHA requires that employers keep accurate records of all monitoring data in addition to the dates of training sessions and any medical evaluations.

Maximizing workers’ compensation benefits

If you have been harmed due to a chemical exposure at work, you likely have questions about your workers’ comp benefits. These benefits may include wage replacement, coverage of medical expenses,  and any short- or long-term disability leave you need to take. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the maximum available benefits while you focus on healing.