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Lead in the workplace

Workers in Louisiana who are employed in industries such as manufacturing and construction may be exposed to lead, which can cause reproductive and neurological complications. Even with the well-known health issues that can arise from lead, there are still many workers with inadequate protection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categorizes elevated lead blood levels as being at least 5 micrograms per deciliter. A January 2017 report issued by the California Department of Public Health showed that from 2012 to 2014, there were over 6,000 workers in that state who had blood with elevated levels of lead. When the data is used to determine the possible count on a nationwide level, it indicates that there could be hundreds of thousands of workers with dangerous levels of lead in their blood.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has required employers to protect their workers according to the standards that cover construction, general industry and shipyards. The employers are to begin specific compliance procedures if lead exposure readings indicate overexposure has been reached. The actions are meant to protect workers while they work their shifts and to stop them from tracking the lead to their homes where their families may be placed in danger.

The workplace air should be tested for lead, and the workers should undergo blood tests to determine their levels of lead. Employers are also to inform their workers if their job duties entail exposure to lead and provide the necessary training.

An attorney who practices workers' compensation law may assist employees who have sustained injuries on the job due to unsafe working conditions. The lawyer may help an injured worker obtain proper compensation.

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