Ohio Railroad Industrial Solvent Exposure Claims
Railroad workers in Ohio know that their industry is one of the most hazardous in the country. Not only is the equipment used in the railroad business dangerous, even the chemicals used to clean that equipment can cause serious harm.
Ohio railroad industrial solvent exposure claims may be on the rise as employees who worked with or even near these dangerous chemicals suffer from health complications such as cancer. Since these claims must be brought under federal statutes rather than Ohio workers’ compensation provisions, many employees choose to consult an experienced railroad injury attorney for advice and assistance.
Injuries Caused by Solvents in the Railroad Industry
The chemicals that compose solvents used to clean engines and other railroad equipment can be harmful on their own and even more damaging when combined with other chemicals. In some cases, even short-term exposure can lead to problems such as damage to the brain, heart, or lungs. However, the majority of railroad industrial solvent exposure claims in Ohio probably stem from regular exposure over the course of months or years.
The effects of long-term exposure to industrial solvents may not become apparent for many years. Affected workers may have retired or moved on to other jobs before their symptoms begin to appear.
Long-term exposure to railroad solvents can lead to debilitating illnesses and conditions such as:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Toxic encephalopathy
- Multiple myeloma
- Aplastic anemia
- Cancer of the bladder
- Damage to the immune system
- Other types of cancers
A knowledgeable railroad injury attorney could collect evidence that ties the illness to long-term exposure to solvents.
Harmful Chemicals Found in Railroad Industry Solvents
Ohio employees in the railroad industry have long been used to working with powerful solvents to cut the grease and muck that accumulates in locomotives and other engines. In many cases, employers were aware that the chemicals that make up these solvents posed a risk of harm to employees, but they failed to take necessary steps to provide protection.
Many of the harmful effects suffered by workers are caused by exposure to the benzene found in many industrial solvents. Workers not directly using solvents may still suffer harm because benzene evaporates into the air rapidly and can be inhaled by those nearby.
Ohio railroad solvent exposure claims may also involve other hazardous chemicals, or chemicals that form a harmful compound when combined with benzene. Solvents may cause damage by contact through the skin or through inhalation, often being transported through the bloodstream to the brain.
Filing Ohio Railroad Industrial Solvent Exposure Claims
Ohio workers suffering harm caused by exposure to industrial solvents used in the railroad industry do not have the option of filing a claim for medical expenses and lost income benefits under the Ohio workers’ compensation scheme because the industry is covered by other laws. Instead, claims for injury compensation must be filed in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Employers’ Liability Act, often referred to as FELA.
Although Ohio railroad industrial solvent exposure claims filed under FELA are more complex and require more evidence than workers’ compensation claims, injured employees are also eligible to receive substantially more in monetary compensation. Workers need to prove that their employers were negligent in exposing them to unnecessary risks of harm from industrial solvent exposure.
When they are able to make this showing, they can receive compensation for pain, suffering, and other intangible effects as well as money to cover medical expenses and income needs. Assistance from an experienced railroad industry lawyer is recommended when filing a claim under FELA. Call today to schedule a consultation.