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Chemical hazards in healthcare workplaces

While New York healthcare workers are most likely aware of the dangers posed by bloodborne pathogens in their workplaces, they may also need to think about the hazards posed by cleaning chemicals used there. Some industrial cleaners used to sterilize labs and equipment may also sicken workers who are exposed to them. Additionally, chemicals contained in equipment and some medications may also be hazardous to workers.

Identifying chemical hazards in health care facilities is the first step towards helping to minimize the risks. It is important to understand the types of exposure hazards each cleaning or disinfecting agent might have. This may necessitate the facility investigating the effects caused by different brands.

Some sterilizing agents may pose risks to workers when they are inhaled. Others may cause problems because of skin absorption. After the facility has identified all of the hazards, it should then write a plan about how to safely handle them. It is also very important for it to implement a safety training program for all workers who will either need to use the chemicals or who will potentially be exposed to them.

Health care workers who are injured or become ill due to a workplace exposure may potentially develop a debilitating condition. They may be eligible to file workers' compensation claims under their employer's insurance coverage. Through workers' compensation, injured or ill workers may receive reimbursement for their medical and treatment expenses as well as a portion of wages lost during the recovery period. An attorney who has experience with these types of matters can often assist an injured worker with the preparation and filing of the claim.

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