Workers in any industry in Colorado and other states have the right to be protected against safety and health threats in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently completed an investigation into the compliance with safety regulations of a manufacturer of components for missiles and warheads in another state. Such inspections are aimed at occupational injuries.
The particular concern of OSHA was the levels of lead to which workers were exposed at the plant. It was determined that the required respiratory protection controls were not installed. Approximately 40 employees were exposed to dangerous levels of lead without any protection. OSHA performed tests and obtained samples that indicated that four workers showed signs of overexposure. Two of those tested above the permissible level for exposure, and the results of the exposure levels of the other two were above the level at which action should have been taken.
During the April investigation, OSHA inspectors also found that the company failed to provide the necessary safety training to inform employees of the potential dangers to which they were exposed. Also, workers must be trained in the proper use and the importance of respiratory protection and the symptoms of exposure to lead. The consequences of overexposure can include brain damage, anemia, gastrointestinal issues and kidney disease.
Victims of occupational injuries may pursue workers’ compensation benefits through the Colorado insurance program. However, proving that an illness is work related may not be easy – especially if the illness is not immediately evident and manifests over time. Such claims may be best navigated by an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can pursue benefits claims on behalf of injured workers.
Source: osha.gov, “Wisconsin military explosives manufacturer faces nearly $143K in OSHA penalties for exposing workers to lead and other hazards“, Sept. 28, 2016