A dangerous workplace can lead to serious injuries and debilitating illness, including many dangerous diseases. When an employer does not provide a workplace that is safe and healthy, it can cause several different health problems for its employees. Our dangerous workplace attorneys at Burg Simpson will work with your employer to protect your rights for a safe and healthy workplace. We will also help you recover from any injuries or diseases that you’ve suffered as a result of working at a dangerous workplace.
Toxic workplace exposures can stem from the use of any number of products such as asbestos, silica, welding rods, or other potentially harmful substances. In Colorado, workers’ compensation generally provides the “exclusive remedy” for diseases developed because of workplace exposures. That means if the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, the employee is able to receive compensation benefits and cannot sue the employer. However, the individual might have a product liability or toxic tort claim because of toxic exposure in the workplace.
If you’ve suffered an injury as the result of an unsafe workplace, please call us today for a free consultation. The Colorado personal injury attorneys at Burg Simpson are here and ready to help you through this tough time. Our experienced workplace attorneys have worked with employees who have been harmed because they spend their days in toxic workplace environments. We’ve worked with victims suffering from:
Mesothelioma is an extremely rare form of cancer found in the thin linings of the lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs. Excessive asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma through the inhalation of asbestos particles. This is a very aggressive cancer and often appears without few, if any, warning signs. If you believe you’ve contracted mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure where you work, fill out our Free Case Evaluation form immediately.
Some workplaces, such as naval bases, rail yards, power plants, industrial sites, schools, auto mechanic shops, steel mills, and military bases, can contain asbestos. You could also have been exposed to asbestos due to exposure from home insulation, ceiling tiles, roof tiles, or certain residential building materials.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been a popular building material used for insulation, fire protection, and resistance to corrosion. Like any cancer, the diagnosis of mesothelioma requires medical exams and testing. Some signs of the disease include:
- Significant asbestos exposure for at least two years prior to 1972.
- Pleural effusions (excess fluid around the lungs).
- Significant, unexplained weight loss.
- Sudden onset of shortness of breath.
While there is no cure for mesothelioma, the earlier workers are diagnosed with the disease, the more treatment options are available, and the better the chances of a full recovery.
If you believe you’ve contracted mesothelioma – or you know that you’ve at least worked in an environment that contains asbestos, do not wait to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Denver by calling 303-792-5595 right now.
There are two types of welding processes used in manufacturing and construction. There’s fusion welding, which is just heat. There’s also pressure welding, which uses heat combined with pressure. Additionally, fusion welding can be performed in a few ways, such as:
- Arc welding: This is probably the most common method of welding materials together. Arc welding bonds pieces of metal together by creating an electrical arc to melt a filler material that bonds the two pieces to be welded together. Arc welding machines are usually portable, allowing them to be used anywhere, which is why it’s also the most common method of underwater welding.
- Gas welding: Instead of electricity, gas welding uses oxygen to melt and bond the source materials.
- Thermit welding: Thermite welding – also known as exothermic welding, is a welding process that employs that bonds join conductors. The process uses an exothermic reaction of a thermite composition to heat the metal, and requires no additional source of heat.
All of these welding types – by their very nature – produce fumes as a result of the process. These fumes can contain both metals and gases that can be extremely harmful, especially after prolonged exposure. According to OSHA, there are several factors that can help mitigate – or exacerbate – employee exposure, such as:
- Type of welding process.
- Base metal and filler metals used.
- Welding rod composition.
- Location (outside, enclosed space).
- Welder work practices.
- Air movement.
- Use of ventilation controls.
This exposure can result in a number of side effects, both short and long term. In the short term, employees may experience eye, nose and throat irritation, dizziness and nausea. Longer exposure can cause lung damage and various types of cancer, including lung, larynx and urinary tract.
Further health effects from certain fumes, according to OSHA, also can include metal fume fever, stomach ulcers, kidney damage, and nervous system damage. Prolonged exposure to manganese fume can cause Parkinson’s–like symptoms. Other gases, such as helium, argon, and carbon dioxide, displace oxygen in the air and can lead to suffocation, particularly when welding in close spaces. Carbon monoxide gas can also form, posing a serious asphyxiation hazard.
The Colorado attorneys at Burg Simpson will work with your employer to protect your rights to a safe and healthy workplace, while also fighting for your right to receive compensation for any injuries you might have suffered.
Sick building syndrome is a broad term that refers to the development of illness or disease as a result of working in a building with the presence of chemicals, compounds, or substances that can cause a person to become ill. These can include glues, paints, mold, or other substances that irritate the human body after exposure. Symptoms can include a persistent cough, chest pain, shortness of breath even after mild exertion, edema, palpitations, nosebleeds, cancers, pregnancy problems and miscarriages.
In many states, workers’ compensation generally provides the “exclusive remedy” for diseases developed because of harmful workplace exposure. That means if the employer has workers’ compensation insurance, the employee receives compensation benefits and cannot sue the employer.
However, the individual may have a claim against others because of toxic exposure in the workplace. For example, if the employer rents or leases space from the owner of the building, it might be possible to bring a premise liability claim. It might be possible to bring a claim against the persons or companies who provided the materials that caused the sick building.
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What makes this so scary is that even the safest workplace can harbor toxic elements. Some worksites appear inherently dangerous – such as construction sites or manufacturing plants – while others can seem perfectly benign, such as a white-collar office environment. If you’ve been hurt on the job, or fallen ill because of something at your office, contact our Denver personal injury attorneys for help. You can’t afford to wait any longer. Call us now at 720-500-5995 or fill out a Free Case Evaluation form before it’s too late.