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How can I prevent work-related toxic exposure?

Most Council Bluffs workplaces do not have any problems related to toxins or chemicals, and their employees do not have to work in fear of being exposed to such chemicals. However, there are other workers -- especially those working in certain factories, industrial facilities, farming operations and construction sites -- who have to take special care not to suffer injuries related to toxic chemical exposure.

Here are a few things that Council Bluffs workers and their employers can do to reduce the threat of toxic exposure.

-- Substituting a dangerous chemical for a safer one: In many cases, a work-related process can be made safer by replacing a dangerous chemical with a safer one. For example, for modern janitorial workers, there are a lot of safer chemical that can achieve the same level of cleaning without endangering employees.

-- Isolate employees from the hazards: Limiters or barriers are very useful to prevent workers from getting exposed to chemicals. These might include remote controlled equipment, electrical insulation, machine guards, glove boxes, walls, plastic shields and more.

-- Ventilate areas where chemicals are used: Chemicals often come with strong and dangerous chemical fumes. By ensuring that areas are well ventilated, employees will have plenty of fresh air and reduced exposure to these fumes. This can be achieved through sophisticated ventilation systems, fans and -- at the very least -- plenty of large open windows.

-- Train employees to use personal protective equipment: When dangerous chemicals are being used, employees need to be taught which chemicals are dangerous, how to avoid exposure, how to recognize exposure, what to do in case of exposure, and what kinds of safety equipment to use to prevent exposure. Safety equipment employees should be taught how to use might include, masks, personal ventilators, gloves, protective clothing, safety goggles and more.

No matter what employees and employers do, if toxic chemicals are present, there will always be the risk of exposure. Council Bluffs workers who have been injured by toxic chemicals in spite f their best efforts, can at the very least, rest assured that they can pursue workers' compensation claims to receive financial benefits to pay for their medical care and time spent unable to work due to injuries.

Source: FindLaw, "Toxic exposure in the workplace," accessed Nov. 15, 2016

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