If you work on or near ships that are carrying chemicals, you may be more at risk for exposure that can harm you. Flammable chemicals could result in ship fires, or you may be exposed to the chemicals when cleaning, painting, and performing other work.
There are a lot of chemicals used in the industry and many of these are shipped in large quantities. Not all of them are harmful, but contact with others may result in fatalities. If you work around chemicals and have been injured, you may be entitled to compensation.
When you think of chemicals that you may come into contact with as a maritime worker, you may think of some of these:
- Hydrogen Sulfide – This chemical is not just flammable, but it is also toxic. It is a chemical that escapes during the refinement of crude oil and natural gas processing. It is identifiable by the smell that is similar to rotten eggs. Since it is a heavy gas, it often lays in low areas and exposure can cause a loss of smell. Workers must be careful to not create sparks where hydrogen sulfide is present and must also wear respirators.
- Mercury – This chemical is often present in high concentration in drilling areas. Routine maintenance of a rig can exposure workers to this chemical. Exposure can cause nervous system issues.
- Silica – If inhaled, silica can cause a disease called silicosis. It is incurable and causes scarring to the lungs which eventually results in difficulty breathing and often death.
- Radioactivity – Some workers are exposed to radiation that naturally occurs as they drill and extract materials from the earth. It may also accumulate in pipes and other rig components. Special protocols must be followed when workers handle this waste.
- Drilling Fluids – These fluids are transferred from the well on offshore rigs. They can be hazardous due to their high temperatures and can result in headaches, skin irritation, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness.
If you are exposed to toxic chemicals or other toxic substances when working near a ship, your health can suffer. Repeated exposure can be particularly hazardous and cause injuries and illnesses to be worse. Not only can exposure to these toxic substances happen through contact with the skin, but many of them can be toxic by breathing them in. Some substances make you unable to breathe and absorb oxygen, which can result in brain damage and death.
As a worker in the maritime industry, you have rights granted to you through federal laws. These rights ensure that you receive compensation if you are injured while working, even if it is due to chemical exposure. If you are denied medical bill payment, payment of lost wages, or other expenses, you can depend on federal maritime laws to ensure you recover those costs.
Contact an Experienced Maritime Lawyer Today
If you have suffered injuries due to chemical exposure or other maritime injuries, consult with the attorneys at Kolodny Law Firm. Maritime law can be confusing, so let us ensure that you file your claim under the correct law and get the compensation that you deserve.