Employers in Pennsylvania have a responsibility for making sure that the workers who have to work with or around hazardous materials are aware of the basic safety rules. A list of the rules for handling such materials can be presented at a safety meeting during which the employees should be encouraged to assist with adding to the list.
It is important that employees adhere to all of the established procedures for handling hazardous materials and that they execute their work duties as they have been trained. Planning is necessary as workers consider what could possibly go wrong over the course of a work shift.
Employees who routinely handle hazardous materials should have properly fitted personal protective equipment that they use. The equipment should be carefully examined every time before being used to ensure that it is in good condition and will provide the necessary protection.
Not only should the hazardous materials be stored in the proper type of containers, but the containers that hold the materials should be clearly and accurately labeled. Employees should avoid using any materials that are not properly contained or labeled and should notify their supervisor about any containers that are damaged or labels that are indecipherable.
There should be a material safety data sheet in the workplace that details the hazards associated with the materials and the precautions employees should take. Employee should make sure to read the MSDS and labels and refrain from using materials outside of their intended purpose.
An attorney who practices workers' compensation law may assist clients who have sustained workplace injuries due to exposure to hazardous materials. The attorney may help clients file initial claims for workers' compensation benefits as well as assist clients with navigating the appeals process if their claims were denied or insufficient settlement amounts were offered.