Those who work in closed spaces in Florida and throughout the country could be exposed to harmful chemicals and other hazards caused by the use of heavy machinery. It is not uncommon for dust and toxic smoke to be kicked up by conveyor belts or other tools used to extract materials from a mine. Companies that use equipment that is not up to MSHA standards could also be putting their workers at risk.
There are several steps that employers can take to minimize the risk of a potentially fatal underground fire. For instance, modern ventilation systems can detect where potentially toxic air may need to be replaced with clean air. Employees should be allowed to wear gas detection units or tools that allow them to breathe in potentially hazardous environments. Finally, it is important that workers are trained to identify hazardous situations, use their equipment and find an escape route in case a fire occurs.
Individuals who are exposed to dangerous chemicals or other hazards at work may be entitled to benefits if they get sick or injured on the job. For instance, the workers’ compensation system may pay for a worker to see a doctor, obtain a medication or take other steps to recover from an injury or an illness.
It may also be possible for injured or sick workers to obtain a portion of their lost wages. The exact amount a person may be entitled to could depend on state law and other factors in a case. An attorney may be able to help a worker file a claim or learn more about what he or she might be able to collect. Legal counsel might also be helpful to those who have had an application for workers’ compensation benefits denied.