Railroad workers in Pennsylvania face hazards not encountered by employees in other industries. While the risks of being injured by heavy train equipment may be obvious, often workers suffer from much less apparent dangers, such as exposure to solvents used to clean and degrease engine components. Pennsylvania railroad industrial solvent exposure claims can enable workers suffering harm to recover compensation to offset their suffering and cover the costs associated with their ailments. To succeed in a claim of this type in the railroad industry, an employee must demonstrate that the employer was negligent in protecting them from harm. Workers often elect to work with an experienced railroad injury lawyer when filing industrial solvent exposure claims.
What Are The Components of Railroad Industrial Solvents?
The cleaning products that cut grease in a household environment or many workplaces are simply inadequate to tackle the grease and grime that collects in railroad engines. Railroad shop workers often use these powerful solvents made up of hazardous chemicals to clean those engines and engine parts.
Benzene is one of the most common components of railroad cleaning solvents, and it is also one of the most dangerous. This chemical evaporates quickly, which means that anyone in the vicinity of its use can suffer harm through inhalation, even if they are not working directly with the chemical themselves. When employers fail to provide protection for the workers exposed to benzene and other hazardous solvent chemicals, railroad workers in Pennsylvania may seek help through industrial solvent exposure claims.
Harm Caused by Chemical Solvents
Workers exposed to industrial solvents used in the railroad industry may experience different effects depending on the intensity of exposure and whether exposure continued for an extended period of time. Even a brief exposure to benzene can result in brain damage, heart problems, and even death.
More claims involving railroad industrial solvent exposure are probably linked to hazards posed by long-term exposure. Just as these effects may build up slowly over time, they may also not become apparent until after the exposure period has ended.
Pennsylvania workers exposed to railroad industrial solvents may file claims due to:
- Multiple myeloma
- Bladder cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Deterioration of the immune system
- Aplastic anemia
- Other types of cancer
The World Health Organization reports that benzene is a “well-established” cause of cancer in humans and that there is no safe level of exposure to this chemical which is a component of so many solvents used in the railroad industry.
How Can Railroad Employees File Industrial Solvent Exposure Claims in PA?
Workers in the railroad industry are not able to file a claim for medical and income benefits through the Pennsylvania workers’ compensation program. The remedies available to railroad employees come through the Federal Employers’ Liability Act or FELA.
FELA railroad industrial solvent exposure claims may usually be brought in either Pennsylvania court or federal court. Workers need to demonstrate that the employer was negligent in protecting them from the hazards posed by exposure to solvents.
Help with Pennsylvania Railroad Industrial Solvent Exposure Claims
In a traditional workers’ compensation case, employees suffering from exposure to dangerous substances only need to show the connection between the illness and the employment. Railroad workers need to establish that connection and also have the burden of proving negligence on the part of the employer.
To make this showing and to ensure that proper procedures are followed, railroad employees generally choose to work with a railroad injury lawyer when filing Pennsylvania railroad industrial solvent exposure claims. Employees who can prove negligence may be entitled to substantial compensation to offset factors such as pain and suffering as well as lost wages and medical expenses. Call today to get started on your claim.