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Where can workers find out about on-the-job hazardous chemicals?


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11/22/2013
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Question: Can I sue my employer for modifying spray foam tanks without protection and cause work injury to me and the foreman?
Question Detail: I will now have asthma for the rest of my life from it and foreman still out of work. So can I sue employer for negligence because they modified the tanks without protection and was waiting for someone or/ something get hurt or/ died?

Answer: The answer to your question requires proof of causation between the asthma and the chemicals being use to add foam to the tanks. Just saying it is true doesn't make it true and the courts will not assume a causal connection with just a temporal relationship. In other words the timing of spraying and developing asthma aren't proof of the condition being related.

You need to obtain certain information from the spray tanks and your employer. Take your cell phone camera to work and photograph all the labels on the tanks, especially the ones showing the chemicals. Second ask your employer for the MSDS or material safety data sheets. These are required by OSHA and OSHA regulations require the employer to provide them to workers who may be affected by the chemicals being used in the work process.

If you are unsure of what I'm referring to look up wikipedia and then do a search for material safety data sheets. Here is what is on Wikipedia.

A material safety data sheet (MSDS), safety data sheet (SDS),[1] or product safety data sheet (PSDS) is an important component of product stewardship and occupational safety and health. It is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner, and includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures. MSDS formats can vary from source to source within a country depending on national requirements.

SDSs are a widely done system for cataloging information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. SDS information may include instructions for the safe use and potential hazards associated with a particular material or product. These data sheets can be found anywhere where chemicals are being used.

There is also a duty to properly label substances on the basis of physico-chemical, health and/or environmental risk. Labels can include hazard symbols such as the European Union standard black diagonal cross on an orange background, used to denote a harmful substance.

An SDS for a substance is not primarily intended for use by the general consumer, focusing instead on the hazards of working with the material in an occupational setting.

In some jurisdictions, the SDS is required to state the chemical's risks, safety, and effect on the environment.

It is important to use an SDS specific to both country and supplier, as the same product (e.g. paints sold under identical brand names by the same company) can have different formulations in different countries. The formulation and hazard of a product using a generic name (e.g. sugar soap) may vary between manufacturers in the same country.

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Category: Workers' Compensation & Employee Rights


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