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I work with chemicals. How can I prevent an industrial accident?

Many of the foods we eat are created in a factory. Some of these foods - especially ones that contain artificial colors and flavors - are created with chemicals that can be toxic when breathed in day in and day out. These chemicals can also be hazardous when touched or accidentally put into the eyes. These situations can cause serious injuries, but fortunately, there are ways that Arizona factory workers can keep themselves safe and avoid an industrial accident.

Factory workers should be on the lookout for any change in respiratory function. If they start coughing more than usual or tend to experience shortness of breath, these are typically signs of toxic exposure. It's a good idea to get the condition checked out by a doctor and perhaps remove yourself from the environment to prevent further exposure.

Employees should also become knowledgeable of the practices used in the factory, as well as how to use the machinery. It's also a good idea to practice safety measures at all times to prevent an on-the-job injury. This means following all guidelines, practicing safe handling procedures and wearing safety gear while on the job. Those who use flavorings or chemicals should know how to properly store them to avoid breathing in their dust and vapors. If a workplace injury occurs, let your employer know and seek medical attention immediately.

Workers and employers alike need to take the appropriate steps to focus on safety. Without proper safety measures in place, there is an increased risk of injury and even death. This can mean legal issues for employers as well, which is why early prevention and thorough training is a win-win for everyone involved.

Source: FindLaw, "Protecting Food Flavoring Workers from Respiratory Illnesses," accessed Feb. 7, 2015

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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C., provides experienced representation for workers' compensation cases in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, Peoria, Avondale, Casa Grande, Flagstaff, Prescott, Tucson and Yuma, and throughout Maricopa County, Pima County, Pinal County and Yavapai County, and all of Arizona.

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