If you work in a Minnesota lab, you could be exposed to harmful chemicals, toxic waste, and a variety of other hazards. Generally speaking, it is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you have the tools necessary to avoid getting hurt or sick while on the job. Let’s take a look at what employers may need to do to comply with the OSHA Lab Standard.
Steps companies must take to keep you safe
At a minimum, companies that engage in lab work involving toxic chemicals must hire a chief hygiene officer. They must be qualified for the position either because they received training or because they have relevant experience. The CHO is responsible for creating a hygiene plan that will outline the specific things that will be done to protect your safety. For instance, a lab may grant you access to personal protective equipment such as goggles or fume hoods.
Employers must monitor your exposure level
There is a chance that you could be exposed to carcinogens and reproductive toxins. Your employer must perform a baseline test to determine if exposure levels are within an acceptable range. Followup tests will be done as needed to ensure that exposure levels are within safe ranges.
You should receive adequate training
It is your employer’s responsibility to ensure that you receive adequate hazard training. A training course should teach you how to use protective equipment and how to spot hazards that management may have missed. You should also learn how to avoid hazardous situations or what to do if an emergency arises. In addition, you should learn the signs and symptoms of illnesses caused by exposure to toxins in the air or on any surface that you interact with.
If you have developed an occupational disease or have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You might find it advisable to have an experienced attorney’s assistance when you are preparing and submitting your claim and to advocate on your behalf if the claim is disputed or denied.