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Government, employers do little to protect individuals from silicosis

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2012 | Workers' Compensation |

The factory workers of Denver expect that the government is doing its best to regulate dangerous products in the workplace. It is shocking, however, to learn that proposals to cut the amount of silica and beryllium, both dangerous carcinogens, that Colorado employees can be exposed to have been tied up for years.

Two Denver physicians have said that the limits the government currently has in place are extremely outdated and much too high, but when the government tries to reform those rules, industry employers push back. Whether they don’t understand the effects of these occupational diseases or they just don’t care, they are putting their employees at serious risk of danger and death.

Overexposure to silica and beryllium can lead to two life-threatening conditions, silicosis and berylliosis, both of which are non-treatable lung conditions. These illnesses can leave an individual dependent on oxygen for the rest of his or her life, as the buildup of silica or beryllium makes it extremely difficult to breathe.

These occupational disease are extremely serious and can leave an employee not only out of work, but also struggling to survive. When these kinds of illnesses happen, however, there are often workers’ compensation benefits available to an injured employee. Determining whether someone is eligible or how to properly file the paperwork, however, can be difficult and often requires the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney.

For those who are currently living with silicosis or berylliosis, they are trying to force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to update their out-of-date and dangerous silica and beryllium regulations.

Source: iWatch News, “OSHA rules on workplace toxics stalled,” Jim Morris, June 4, 2012

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