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Toxic exposure: 5 land in hospital after asbestos abatement job

Whenever workers in Iowa and other states are exposed to hazardous substances, employers must ensure they equip them with the appropriate personal protective equipment. A company in a neighboring state may have to pay more than $240,000 for safety violations related to toxic exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently released its findings in an investigation that followed an April incident.

Reportedly, five workers suffered occupational illnesses after working on a renovation project at a nursing home. Investigators said the employees were working in a containment area where they suffered asbestos exposure. Moreover, investigators said the company failed to make sure that carbon monoxide levels in the containment area were monitored.

An OSHA spokesperson said the company's primary area of business is asbestos abatement, and one would expect it to be particularly vigilant in protecting employees from the dangers of known carcinogenic substances. Only the five employees needed medical care after the exposure. Nobody else at the nursing home was affected because the danger was contained.

As in Iowa, the workers who needed medical treatment after this incident of toxic exposure will be entitled to pursue the recovery of medical expenses. Victims may file benefits claims with the state's workers' compensation insurance system. Workers whose workplace injuries or illnesses caused absences from work that led to lost wages may also receive wage-replacement packages that will be based on their average weekly incomes. Some such claims may be complicated, and it is not uncommon for victims of toxic exposure to consult with experienced workers compensation attorneys when they need guidance and support.

Source: host.madison.com, "OSHA says Poynette company put own workers at risk at New Glarus project site", Bill Novak, Oct. 20, 2016

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