Some people working in California are exposed to hazardous materials on a daily basis. Although legislation exists to protect employees, there may be times when employers violate these laws. Workers may become injured or sick as a result of their occupations, especially if their employers are not careful to enforce the proper safety and disclosure protocols.

Exposure to crystalline silica commonly occurs in industrial settings and is one of many dangerous materials workers may encounter, especially if their jobs entail using masonry saws to cut brick and concrete, which creates tiny airborne particles of the substance. Prolonged, unprotected exposure could result in illness or injury and lead to loss of work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has specific standards concerning crystalline silica and how it is to be managed on the job. These standards include written disclosures to all who handle or may be exposed to the substance, maximum permissible levels of exposure and implementing the proper safety controls to ameliorate the negative effects of exposure. Failure to follow OSHA’s standards may be breaking the law and putting workers at risk.

Workers exposed to crystalline silica and similar substances may discover that they now have respiratory ailments or serious illnesses such as lung cancer. In such cases, those workers may no longer be able to perform their jobs, resulting in loss of income as well as costly medical bills that can have a profound negative effect on both them and their families.

People who believe that they became ill because of exposure to hazardous materials on the job may be entitled to workers’ compensation, which can help recoup lost wages and medical expenses. A knowledgeable attorney may help those who are seeking to submit a claim or those who have attempted to submit a claim unsuccessfully.