A terrifying story out of Spokane, Washington reminds us how vulnerable we all are in the workplace. On August 13th, 2015, a crew was working at a recycling plant when a canister began emitting chlorine gas in large quantities. Observers noted a huge cloud in the air, and many who were exposed were instantly sickened.
Eight people were seriously injured and another twenty were taken to the hospital for observation. In all, nearly twenty buildings had to be evacuated, and many workers in those buildings might also have been exposed to the hazardous gas. Those exposed wont’ know the extent of the damage they suffered for years or even decades, as scarring to the lungs caused by chlorine exposure can take years to manifest.
Chlorine isn’t the only dangerous gas workers might be exposed to. Other dangerous gases that consumers may encounter at home and in the workplace include:
- Carbon Monoxide
Some of these, like ozone and chlorine, are detectable by odor. Others, like carbon monoxide, require special equipment to monitor. Workplaces should have monitoring equipment for all types of gases, which can detect dangerous chemicals even before they are detectable by smell. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has many guidelines in place to ensure worker safety, but these guidelines are not always followed.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by exposure to hazardous substances at the workplace, it is extremely important that you contact a qualified attorney. Dangerous workplaces are rarely cleaned up unless the proper pressure is applied, and an experienced lawyer will know how to apply that pressure.