By law, workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. Some jobs are inherently more dangerous than others. Industrial workers, for example, face many hazards on the job. One hazard is exposure to lead. Industrial workers who are exposed to this metal may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that over 800,000 general industry workers are potentially exposed to lead at the workplace. Lead is a very important metal in the industry sector. It is found in many industry products, including paints, solder, tank linings, plumbing fixtures, metal alloys, and electrical fittings and conduits. Exposure to lead can happen during production of these products, as well as during their use, repair, or recycling. Moreover, certain operations, such as welding and demolition, can cause lead dust and fumes.
Exposure to lead can be very harmful to one’s health. Most often, workers are exposed to lead by inhaling dust and fumes at work. Lead can also be accidentally ingested when it is on hands, clothing, or surfaces.
When inhaled or ingested in large quantities, lead can bring about a variety of health problems and diseases. It can cause damage to the organs, the reproductive system, and the nervous system. Workers who are exposed to lead may also develop illnesses like anemia and kidney disease.
If you were injured as a result of exposure to lead, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation under Iowa law. The Workers’ Compensation Act in Iowa is designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries, diseases, and hearing loss. Most employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover certain expenses like medical care and lost income.
Before you file a workers’ compensation claim, consider speaking with an attorney. There are certain things you should keep in mind when filing such a claim. For example, receiving workers’ compensation benefits prohibits you from suing your employer for your injuries. An attorney can advise you about whether to file a claim or pursue other remedies.
Source: OSHA.gov, “Safety and Health Topics: Lead,” Accessed Oct. 25, 2015