Steps to take to keep lab workers safe

According to OSHA, there are more than 500,000 workers employed by labs in throughout the United States. Connecticut laboratory workers may face a variety of hazards such as walking on a busy loading dock or coming into contact with potentially toxic chemicals. They may also be exposed to toxic waste or other materials that could be harmful to their health. The OSHA Lab Standard was created to ensure that non-production lab workers were protected from recognized hazards that could harm them.

Employers are required to hire a chemical hygiene officer (CHO) who will help to create a chemical hygiene plan (CHP). A CHO must have either have relevant experience or sufficient training to be named to this position by an employer. The CHP will outline the protocols that labs will use to prevent dangerous conditions as well as protocols to follow in the event that a person is injured.

For instance, the plan may require that employees wear fume hoods or other protective equipment when working with toxic chemicals. It is also important that hazardous materials are used and stored in designated locations. The CHP should include methods to comply with any OSHA standards that must be met while performing a specific task or working in a certain environment. Employees should receive training so that they understand the hazards that they may face at any given time.

People who are injured on the job or who contract an occupational disease are generally entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits. These can include the payment or reimbursement of medical bills and in some cases the restoration of a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period. Many claimants find it advisable to have a lawyer's assistance throughout the process.

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