Occupational Exposure Limits, or OEL’s, refer to the maximum allowed concentration of certain substances in a given workplace. These generally refer to various hazardous, airborne substances such as asbestos, silica, and other materials. Occupational exposure limits have long been in place for many industries, and have been set by a number of government agencies and regulation departments. They often focus on materials that have definite connections and correlations with occupational diseases and industrial diseases such as asbestosis or popcorn lung conditions.
OEL schemes often involve hierarchy ratings for types of materials, rating levels, industry types, and various other factors. These can often be highly technical, complex and difficult to understand. However, industry-specific information sometimes be explained through company handouts or through information obtained through regulatory agencies.
What If Occupational Exposure Limits have been Exceeded?
Occupational exposure limits will vary depending on the type of substance involved and the type of industry. Other factors may be considered, such as the size of an enclosed space, airflow, ventilation, etc. Also, many different substances and work fields do not have OEL’s in place.
Violations of OEL standards can sometimes lead to legal claims or government investigations. For instance, suppose that a worker begins developing a case of chronic occupational asthma. They may need to have several medical tests run on them to determine whether there is a link between their medical condition and chemicals at their workplace.
This can in turn lead to an investigation to determine whether the company is complying with state, federal, and industry-specific standards. For instance, air samples may be taken, as well as an evaluation of company safety practices and procedures. Consequences may involve legal damages for injuries, official health and safety investigations, and in some cases, class action toxic exposure claims.
What If I need to file Claim for an Injury?
If you believe that you’ve been affected by a violation of occupational exposure limits, you may need to begin taken various steps. These can include:
- Documenting your injuries or conditions developed over time (this may involve medical records, doctor consultation, etc.).
- Obtaining testimony or statements from co-workers and other affected persons.
- Compiling relevant work or employment related documents, such as pay stubs, correspondences, etc.
- Speak with an attorney for more guidance and representation during the filing process.
- Maintain a log of questions and facts/notes related to your claim.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with Occupational Exposure Issues?
Occupational exposure can often involve serious medical conditions. It can lead to various costs including medical bills, lost wages, and other considerations. You may need to hire a qualified employment lawyer if you have been injured or affected by an OEL violation. OEL standards can often be complex, and can vary from industry to industry. However, your lawyer can provide you with sound legal advice for your issue and can represent you during investigations, negotiations, and court proceedings.