September 4, 2020
Types of Toxic Exposure on New York Job Sites
By Jonathan Damashek
New York City has been under construction for as long as it’s been around; any native New Yorker will tell you that. But amidst the hustle and bustle, some more unsavory substances can slip through the cracks. We’re talking about toxic substances, or substances that can pose serious health risks to people who are unlucky enough to be exposed to them over an extended period.
Working for a living is hard enough, but especially more so when you have to worry about unintentionally being exposed to harmful, toxic substances. Here at Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our knowledge of New York City workplace safety laws makes it easy for us to put ourselves in your shoes and fiercely advocate for what you deserve. If you unknowingly came into contact with toxic substances while working in New York City, give us a call at (212) 490-5700 to schedule a free consultation today.
What Are These Toxic Substances Anyway?
Most people probably think of illegal drugs or bootleg moonshine when they hear the term ‘toxic substances.’ While they’re not necessarily wrong, they refer to specific substances in the context of a construction site.
Toxic substances then could refer to mold, asbestos, lead, acid, dust, solvents, and mineral fibers like glass, ceramic, and rockwool. Most of those things get into your lungs, where they’ll cause long-term respiratory damage.
Even though some of these substances have long since been outlawed, such as lead and asbestos, they’re still pretty common in older buildings. These older buildings often get renovated at some point, so construction workers will inevitably come into contact with them. This is why one of the best preventative measures you can take on the job is following basic workplace safety procedures.
These measures include common-sense actions, such as undergoing training for proper removal of toxic substances, using non-toxic building materials as much as possible, wearing N95 masks in particularly dusty areas, and wearing skin protection when handling solvents, acids, or other caustic chemicals. If you’re extra concerned about exposing yourself to these nasty substances, you can even try to rotate shifts with your coworkers so that you all lessen your exposure.
Legal Recourse When Exposed to Toxic Substances
Of course, you can take legal action if you can prove that long-term exposure has caused you serious chronic health issues, such as cancer, respiratory damage, nose and throat irritation, chronic exhaustion and fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even burns. Usually this legal restitution takes the shape of worker’s compensation, which is financial compensation you receive to make up for any medical bills or lost days of work.
Sadly, hundreds of people die every year from health problems sustained as a result of toxic exposure. In 2017, over 200,000 people in New York alone reported workplace injuries and illnesses, so these cases are unfortunately not uncommon.
However, the only way to be sure that you can get this workman’s compensation is to work with an experienced, compassionate personal injury lawyer. They’ll carefully review the facts of your case and collaborate with you on a strategy that can help you win your case.
How Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. Can Help You
If you were exposed to toxic substances while you were on the job in New York, you understand how exhausting it is trying to sort out medical bills and insurance claims while also tending to your own health. Let our team of experienced and empathetic personal injury lawyers take the guesswork out for you; we know New York City workplace safety laws and we use our knowledge to help our clients reclaim what’s rightfully theirs. Call us at (212) 490-5700 to learn more about how we can serve you.