Thankfully, this chemical leak did not result in serious injury or death for any dairy workers. Unfortunately, this is not always the case with ammonia leaks or other toxic gas leaks. Breathing in toxic gas can cause severe respiratory issues, burns on the skin or respiratory system, eye damage – including blindness- and even death. Depending on both the type and concentration of chemical exposure, serious injuries can be caused immediately or gradually over time.
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Toxic gas exposure on the job resulting in injury entitles employees to a claim for workers’ compensation. A company’s worker’s compensation carrier can be liable for compensating an injured employee exposed to toxic gases for medical bills and lost wages while the worker remains injured. Toxic gas exposure injuries can have lifelong effects for exposed individuals. As a result, individuals who cannot return to work due to injuries sustained from such exposure may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
Toxic gas exposure can be very serious, fortunately in this recent ammonia leak in Allegheny County no serious injuries were reported. Individuals suffering serious injuries from toxic gas exposure should consult with a qualified attorney to ensure their rights are protected.
Source: WPXI.com, “17 workers treated after ammonia leak at Whitehall building,” August 5, 2013.