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Toxic cloud calls into question IHOP's cleaning practices

Anyone in Colorado Springs that works at a restaurant knows how important it is to clean the kitchen well. Not only does the health of the customers depend on a clean restaurant, but also the health and safety of the workers. Unfortunately, when a Colorado employer has less-than-safe cleaning procedures, it puts employees at risk of serious workplace injuries.

After an accident happened at an out-of-state IHOP restaurant, nine employees were taken to the hospital because they had inhaled chlorine gas. It seems that one worker had mixed a chlorine-based bleach with another cleaning agent called Delimer. While there was a safety data sheet that said it was dangerous to combine Delimer with anything containing chlorine, the local emergency services director believes that combining the two cleaners was a "standard practice" at IHOP.

According to federal law, all employees are supposed to be trained on how to properly use the chemicals necessary for their job and that there should be safety sheets that warn employees of any toxic materials or agents they may come in contact with. When an employer fails to train its workers on how to properly use a chemical or specifically tells employees to use a chemical in a dangerous fashion, it creates the possibility for a workplace accident.

Employers must provide relatively safe work environments for their employees and when they don't, an injured worker may be able to file for a Colorado workers' compensation claim. This money is often essential to employees who are missing work and amassing large medical debts because their bosses failed to prevent an accident. Speaking with a workers' compensation attorney can help anyone injured on the job with getting the funds they deserve.

Source: Saturday Gazette-Mail, "Chemical cloud at IHOP, 9 hospitalized," Kathryn Gregory, Feb. 17, 2012

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