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An overview of chemical hazards in the workplace

Going to work on a daily basis should not be dangerous, unless you work in the emergency services or other professions that are inherently dangerous. But, there is still the possibility that you can get injured on the job when chemical hazards are present. Here is a brief overview of chemical hazards in the workplace.

There are a host of terms used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that all employees should know when working closely with chemical hazards.

The first of those terms is ceiling limit. This is defined as the limit of exposure to a chemical an employee should never surpass while on the job.

Action level is defined as the time-determined level that an employee's airborne level is monitored over a period of eight hours. This can include surveillance medically and monitoring of possible exposure.

The time-weight average (TWA) is the average time an employee is exposed to a chemical hazard. This usually does not exceed a period of eight hours.

The short-term exposure limit (STEL) is defined as the time limit for an employee exposed to chemicals or other contaminant at work. This should not exceed a period of 15 to 30 minutes.

Analytical error is the uncertainty estimate that is related to any type of exposure while working with chemicals.

Employers are required to provide their workers with the proper training and respiratory protection for the use of respirators when working with chemicals. These materials and equipment must be provided to employees at no cost to them.

Chemical hazards can be found in just about every workplace across the state of Illinois. Being injured in a workplace accident causes stress and puts you out of work. An experienced personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of filing a claim and getting compensation for your injury.

Source: OSHA, "Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances," accessed July 27, 2017

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