Workers in the transportation, healthcare, construction, waste and other industries may be at risk of coming into contact with hazardous materials. Exposure to hazardous materials can cause a variety of health complications, long-term diseases and even death.
Talk to our hazardous materials attorneys to review your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits and other legal action you may pursue.
Types of Hazardous Materials Workers May Encounter
Workers in a variety of industries use hazardous materials for building, engineering, laboratory work, and more (including truck drivers that transport the materials). The U.S. Department of Transportation classifies hazardous waste as explosives, gases, flammable liquids, other flammable substances, oxidizing substances, toxins/poisons, radioactive materials, corrosives and miscellaneous dangerous goods.
In addition to transported hazardous materials that may pose risks to truck drivers or cargo loaders in the event of an accident, the EPA has named hazardous waste types to which workers in the waste industry (and other industries) might be exposed.
Hazardous waste types are classified as the following.
- Listed wastes: wastes from manufacturing and industrial process, wastes from specific industries and wastes from commercial chemical products.
- Characteristic wastes: wastes that exhibit characteristics of ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity or toxicity but don’t meet the listed wastes above.
- Universal wastes: batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment.
- Mixed wastes: waste that has radioactive and hazardous waste components.
Dangers of Hazardous Materials
While most hazardous materials are safely contained and transported, sometimes accidents happen. A hazardous material spill can occur when there is a vehicle accident involving a HAZMAT truck, when an explosion occurs or when other actions lead to a spill.
Hazardous materials can harm you if they touch your skin or eyes, you breathe them in, or if they lead to fires or explosions, according to MedlinePlus.
Hazardous materials can pose serious health consequences for an exposed worker. If a fire or explosion is caused by hazardous materials, for example, the worker is in immediate danger of sustaining burns and other fire/explosion-related injuries. Being exposed to radioactive materials, on the other hand, has been linked to certain cancers. Exposure to certain toxic materials, which can pass through the skin easily, also can cause severe health problems.
When hazardous materials aren’t properly handled, an accident can occur that endangers workers. If you’ve been exposed to hazardous materials and experienced adverse health consequences, set up a consultation with our hazardous materials lawyers in New York by calling 800-550-0000 – we’ll help you explore your legal options.
Liability for Workplace Accidents Involving Hazardous Materials
In New York, the majority of workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This means that if you sustain an illness or a disease caused by a workplace accident, workers’ compensation should provide the financial help required to seek healthcare and recover compensation for partial lost wages.
In some cases though, you can also pursue a third-party liability claim for damages. When hazardous materials are involved in a workplace accident, a third-party liability claim can hold the manufacturer/distributor of the hazardous materials responsible for the accident and can be essential to recovering the damages that you need. You’ll have to establish a third party’s negligence and link that negligence to your accident and injuries. These are areas that may require legal expertise.
Speak with Gacovino & Lake’s Hazardous Material Attorneys
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates P.C., our attorneys are prepared to investigate your accident case and identify options to recover damages, whether that means pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, third-party claim or both.
To get started today, call us now at 800-550-0000 or use our contact form to set up a consultation online.