April 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM EDT
Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Attorney Applauds OSHA's Adoption of New Chemical Labeling Standards
Massachusetts workers' compensation attorney Steven H. Kantrovitz today applauded a newly adopted OSHA chemical labeling system that is expected to prevent more than 40 deaths each year.
"In a move that is entirely appropriate for the global nature of industry and trade, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted the United Nations' chemical labeling and hazard communication standard," said Kantrovitz of Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C.
"Standardized safety measures are important for ensuring that every worker recognizes the hazards they face in their work environment and understands the appropriate steps to mitigate their risks," Kantrovitz added.
The newly adopted standards "classify chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad," the Department of Labor says in a news release.
Aligning OSHA standards with the U.N.'s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals will "benefit workers by reducing confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facilitating safety training and improving understanding of hazards, especially for low literacy workers," according to the release.
When fully implemented in 2016, OSHA says its new Hazard Communication Standard will prevent an estimated 43 deaths and 585 injuries and illnesses annually. The agency also estimates $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year.
"Too often, confusion about chemical hazards, lack of consistent labeling and a lack of safety training has led to serious injuries in the workplace," said Kantrovitz, whose firm investigates toxic exposure injuries on behalf of Massachusetts workers.
"It is our hope that these new standards will ensure that all workers are made aware of chemical hazards they may be exposed to and that we'll see a reduction in chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries."
Kantrovitz said failure to provide proper training is another leading factor in workplace accidents resulting in chemical burns and other injuries.
"Communication, including labeling hazardous products and training employees, is vitally important for workplace safety, but the attitude of those in charge toward creating and maintaining a safe worksite may be the most crucial factor," the Massachusetts workers' compensation lawyer said.
Kantrovitz said that workers who have been injured on the job through no fault of their own should consult an experienced workers' compensation attorney to ensure that their rights to proper compensation are protected.
"At Kantrovitz & Associates, we are concerned about the promotion and enhancement of worker safety throughout Massachusetts, but when safety measures are not what they should be and workers suffer toxic exposure or other types of serious injury, our attorneys help them to secure the workers' compensation benefits they deserve," he said.
About Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C.
For more than 20 years, the Massachusetts workers' compensation law firm of Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., has zealously represented the interests of injured and ill workers throughout Massachusetts, including but not limited to Boston, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Plymouth and Merrimack River. The firm also represents Rhode Island and New Hampshire residents whose injuries occurred in Massachusetts or who were hired in Massachusetts but injured out of state. To learn more about the firm, call (800) 367-0871 or use the firm's online contact form.
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