Styrene is a chemical used to manufacture plastics, resins and rubber. While styrene can be useful in an industrial setting, prolonged exposure can cause health problems among workers, including headaches, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and respiratory issues.
After several employees reported feeling ill, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched an investigation into Fiberdome Inc., a fiberglass manufacturer operating in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. During the inspection, OSHA discovered that workers were being exposed to styrene levels higher than the industry approved standard.
OSHA's permissible exposure limit for styrene is 100 parts per million (ppm). At higher levels of exposure, styrene can cause adverse health effects and neurological symptoms.
Fiberdome reached an agreement with OSHA to help it abate the exposure violation. The company agreed to voluntarily lower its employees’ exposure levels to 50 ppm over an eight-hour period, in accordance with a 1996 agreement laid out by the styrene industry.
If Fiberdome is successful, the agreement will resolve all outstanding citations issued to Fiberdome during the inspection. If the company’s efforts fail to limit exposure, management agrees to implement an appropriate respiratory program, providing respirators and safety training to all employees.
The Wisconsin-based fiberglass manufacturer addressed its workplace hazard and cooperated with OSHA, but only after several workers got sick. Hopefully, all the health problems were minor and reversible, but some workers may have been permanently affected by the styrene exposure.
Workers’ Comp Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
Your employer is responsible for your health and safety in the workplace. If your illness was the result hazardous chemical exposure, call Larrimer & Larrimer today. Financial restitution may be available to help you heal, and our experienced workers’ comp attorneys could help you fight for it.
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