Lead Exposure on the Job
Lead can harm a worker by being inhaled or accidentally ingested. Workers in certain industries may breathe in dust or fumes that contain lead, or it may get on their hands or clothing. It travels through the lungs to the blood and then to the body's organs. The outcome may be lead poisoning, brain damage or neurological effects, impaired kidneys, anemia, high blood pressure, vision problems, gastrointestinal or digestive issues, and other ailments. There are certain industries in which workers are more likely to encounter lead exposure on the job, including auto repair, battery manufacturing, construction, lead manufacturing or mining, painting, shipbuilding, bridge demolition, and rubber product manufacturing. If you are harmed by lead on the job, you should consult a workers' compensation attorney. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston lead exposure lawyers can help you pursue the benefits to which you may be entitled.Pursuing Benefits for Injuries Caused by Lead Exposure on the Job
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 804,000 workers are potentially exposed to lead. In fact, lead exposure occurs in many sectors. Unfortunately, health problems arising out of lead exposure do not necessarily show up right away. In some cases, workers are incapacitated years after their exposure. This can lead to difficulties in obtaining workers' compensation benefits. Your employer's insurer may deny that the ailments you suffer arose out of workplace exposure.
Many workers are unaware of the harm that lead exposure has done to their body on the job. This is particularly true when no symptoms are experienced for a long period of time. However, even small amounts of lead can result in a buildup inside your body, resulting in health problems or lead poisoning. Proving that an illness is work-related is necessary in order to recover workers' compensation benefits. An experienced attorney can try to convince either the insurer or an administrative law judge of this connection. In some cases, it can be useful to look into whether an employer has been cited by OSHA for unsafe conditions related to lead exposure to supply the necessary proof.
Some benefits to which you may be entitled under the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Act include medical benefits, partial or total disability benefits, loss of function benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and death benefits. If you pass away due to job-related lead exposure, your dependents and widow would be entitled to death benefits.
In some cases, lead exposure aggravates a prior condition. Many workers are under the mistaken belief that they cannot recover benefits if they have a pre-existing condition. However, by law an employer must accept its employee as he or she is. If a work event or series of events aggravates a pre-existing condition in a major way so that you cannot work, your entire disability may be considered work-related, and an insurer may need to pay benefits.Enlist an Experienced Lead Exposure Lawyer in Boston
If you are suffering from an occupational illness due to lead exposure on the job, you should consult an experienced workplace accident lawyer about filing a claim for benefits. Although the workers' compensation system was designed to be easier to navigate than litigation in civil court, it is still fairly challenging for laypeople to understand. Lead exposure can be a more complicated issue than a broken bone or another easily documented injury, and the guidance of an attorney can make a big difference to your case. The Boston lead exposure attorneys at Pulgini & Norton advise and represent workers in Cambridge, Lowell, Andover, and other cities in Massachusetts. Call us at 781-843-2200 or contact us via our online form for a free consultation.