In years gone by in the workplace, many people may have been exposed to what are now known as toxic substances. These substances can cause long-term health issues and have been linked to the formation of secondary diseases such as cancers.
And, it can come as nothing short of a shock if you have recently found out that you may have been exposed to a toxic substance such as asbestos in your workplace or your previous workplaces. Therefore, you may be wondering what your legal rights are if you are looking to seek legal compensation for this exposure.
Read on to learn more about your rights to exposure to toxic chemicals.
Protection from Exposure
Under the Human Rights Act, everybody must be protected from exposure to toxic substances in the workplace. In some cases, this can be harder to prevent, such as with workers involved in refurbishing buildings or those employed to tear down older structures. But even so, your employer has the legal duty to ensure that you and everybody who works with you have the appropriate protective equipment. If this was not the case and you have recently discovered that there was asbestos in a place where you were working, you need to seek help from a toxic chemical exposure lawyer.
Protection of Workers
There is also a concept known as the protection of workers, and it is the human right of all workers to be protected from exposure to toxic substances.
If your employer has failed to train you on handling toxic substances, has not given you the protective equipment needed to regulate toxic substances, or has brushed aside any concerns raised, this needs to be followed up with a legal team.
Prevention of Exposure
Exposure to substances such as asbestos is exceedingly damaging to health. Indeed, multiple studies have linked exposure to asbestos with esophageal cancers, oral cancers, and even lung cancers.
Businesses have a legal responsibility to prevent occupational exposure to toxic substances, and if this is unavoidable, they need to provide you with the equipment and training to do so safely. They will also need to provide medical assistance following potential exposure to ensure that you are fit and healthy.
Following Scientific Evidence
It is a point that nobody particularly wants to think about, but if there has been a survey of a building conducted by a third party, and it has been advised that nobody should enter it due to asbestos, if your boss overlooks this scientific evidence and puts you and your colleagues into this workplace, this is a criminal act. You can seek legal redress as this action has exposed you to toxic chemicals, which would not have happened had they followed the advice.
Protection of the Community
Chemical exposure can also affect your family if you have been in an environment with asbestos. This may have clung to your clothes and could have been breathed in by your friends and family. If you suspect this is the case, you must seek legal advice.