Last week, an accidental chemical spill released toxic gases at a food and beverage manufacturer based in Kansas. The mixture of sulfuric acid and sodium hypochlorite sent more than 100 people to the hospital. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening. However, two workers were hospitalized due to their injuries.
MGP Ingredients, the manufacturing company responsible for the spill, immediately reported the accident to the EPA. So far, the manufacturer has been cooperating with the investigation and is taking additional precautions by hiring experts to assess their current situation. MGP’s cooperation does not, however, absolve them from any wrongdoing. In this particular case, many workers were harmed. Those workers may have potential claims and lawsuits against MGP. The extent of those claims will vary widely, based on severity of injuries, time off work, and emotional distress.
Symptoms of Toxic Gas Exposure
Exposure to toxic gases is a common hazard in manufacturing plants. Although most incidents are not fatal, exposure to certain toxins can be deadly. When the air we breathe is compromised by the release of dangerous chemicals, health problems can be immediately present, or they can develop over long periods of time. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD will likely experience more severe symptoms. Common symptoms of exposure to toxic chemicals include:
- Trouble breathing, shortness of breath
- Dizziness, light-headedness, or faintness
- Sudden headache, or prolonged headache that won’t go away
- Nausea and vomiting
Of course, all of the above symptoms can be mild or severe, and they can all be related to something other than exposure to toxic chemicals. If, however, you work in a manufacturing or chemical plant and you develop any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. More serious complications from chemical spills include blindness, burns, corneal scarring, cancer, organ failure, neurological disorders, respiratory disorders, and death. If you’ve been harmed on-the-job, contact a Massachusetts work injury lawyer today.
Common Causes of Chemical Spills
Chemical spills can occur for numerous reasons. Some of the most common include:
- Improper storage of chemicals
- Unsafe handling of chemicals
- Ruptures of chemical storage tanks
- Improper disposal of chemicals
- Failure to comply with regulations set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
If you work in a manufacturing or chemical plant and notice any of the above hazards, report the problem to a supervisor immediately. If the supervisor does not respond to your concerns right away, contact a Boston workers’ compensation attorney today. Serious chemical spills can affect the environment as well, polluting air, nearby lakes, fish populations, and local water sources.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Work Injury Lawyers Serving All of Massachusetts
If you have been injured in any type of work-related accident, the work injury team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of MA workers for more than 50 years. Most on-the-job injuries are covered by workers’ compensation, but a variety of factors can affect your ability to collect these benefits. Errors on the application, for example, can delay or reduce benefits. In some cases, workers are denied benefits altogether. That is why it is crucial to have a skilled work injury lawyer by your side. Even more, if negligence played a role in your injuries, you may be entitled to additional compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Don’t go through this complicated process alone. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.