Occupational Health & Safety reports that Echo Environmental Waverly LLC, of Waverly, has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safety violations for several workers who suffered from overexposure to lead.
The news journal reports that the citations involve six serious and three “other-than-serious” health violations involving employee exposure to lead. OSHA allegedly found that the electronics recycling company exposed workers to lead levels above the permissible exposure limit (PEL) standards and that it failed to monitor exposure levels.
OSHA also claims that the employer “did not require the use of protective clothing or provide laundry and disposal containers for contaminated clothing, allowed food and beverages to be consumed in areas where lead was likely present, and failed to properly label containers with material containing lead.”
An OSHA representative said that the company must make immediate changes to its procedures to address the issues. It is unclear if the company has been fined.
Occupational lead overexposure can damage a worker’s brain, nerves, kidneys and blood cells. It has also been linked to infertility and if particles are transported home on a worker’s clothing, can harm children and other family members.
Workers who feel that they may be overexposed to lead should look for symptoms including irritability, muscle and joint pain and tiredness, and report their condition to a doctor. A doctor may order a blood lead level test, measuring how much lead is present in your bloodstream.
Additionally, you may want to contact OSHA directly, so that the agency can investigate your situation.
I Suffered from Lead Overexposure at Work. What Are My Legal Options?
In addition to contacting a healthcare professional about your issue, if you believe that you have been overexposed to lead at work, it may be a good idea to contact an attorney. If you suffer an occupational illness due to toxic chemical or compound exposure, you may be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
This may help you replace lost income and help you pay your medical bills. Additionally, an attorney may be able to investigate your claim and help you decide how to move forward with a legal claim, including potential litigation.
Employers have a duty to keep workers safe from toxic material exposure. Those that do not should be held liable when a worker suffers an illness.