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Workers exposed to toxic chemicals on the job.

Posted on Apr 25, 2014

In Jacksonville, Florida, the Dixie Tank Co. has been cited for 23 health and safety violation for exposing full-time and temporary workers to a toxic chemical, hexavalent chromium. The exposure to this chemical was in excess to the federal standards. The chemical, hexavalent chromium, is linked to causing cancer, targeting the respiratory system, kidneys, liver,skin, and eyes. Workers get the most exposure to the hexavalent chromium during what is called "hot work". "Hot work" refers to welding on stainless steel and other alloy steels containing chromium metals.

The Dixie Tank Co., according to OSHA, have 19 violations against it as an employer. They are in violation of exposing workers to the toxic chemical above the eight hour limit set up by OSHA; failure to conduct initial monitoring of the toxic chemical to determine the eight hour exposure average; failure to provide medical surveillance for the employees that have been exposed to the toxic chemical for more than 30 days and failure to provide those workers with the appropriate respirators after exposure.

According to OSHA, a serious violation occurs when there is a probability the death or physical harm could be a result of a hazard that the employer has known or should have known about. It is the duty of the employer to make sure they are protecting their workers, both full-time and temporary, from potential harms in the workplace.

Last April OSHA announced an initiative to improve workplace safety for temporary workers. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows data that temporary employees make up 16% (of 4,383) of the injuries (both fatal and non fatal) on the job. This initiative is an effort to use enforcement, training and outreach to make sure that temporary workers are protected in their workplaces. This investigation of Dixie Tank Co. is one of many where it has been reported that temporary workers have been suffering from serious or fatal injuries on the job. 

As a worker, you have to Protect Your Rights. Temporary workers deserve the same rights and the same protection as their full-time counterparts. Get your free copy of our guide, Protect Your Rights: The Ultimate Guide to D.C. Workers' Compensation. Contact us if you have been hurt on the job to get started today.