Workplace illness: Companies receive data on hazardous chemicals

Many workers in California and around the country get sick while on the job. Respiratory illnesses frequently occur among employees. However, the most common workplace illness involves skin disease and exposure, according to a recent report.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that skin-related illnesses occur at a rate of 3.4 instances per 10,000 workers. There is a risk of exposure to chemicals in many job locations. Because of this risk, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued an updated list of skin notation profiles.

These profiles are published to make people aware of the risks involved when skin is exposed to chemicals. The communications are targeted toward employers and employees in potentially hazardous areas, researchers, occupational health workers and those who establish policies in the industry. The goal is to develop practices to protect employees from exposure to certain chemicals.

Information is included in the profiles that details potential hazards and offers ways to protect against the hazard. New chemicals on the list include arsenic, disulfoton and heptoachlor. Any new or updated scientific knowledge regarding any of the substances is included in the profiles.

California employees have the right to a safe working environment. If someone has gotten sick after being exposed to a dangerous chemical while on the job, his or her employer is responsible for providing any necessary treatment. An experienced workers' compensation attorney will work with clients to ensure they receive the full amount of benefits to which they are entitled when a workplace illness occurs.

Source:, "NIOSH Adds Nine Chemicals to Skin Notation Profiles", Stefanie Valentic, Sept. 11, 2017

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