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Federal Hazardous Material Regulations Have Serious Flaws

by | Jul 10, 2013 | Workers' Compensation

A recent investigation by Reuters has proven that the Environmental Protection Agency and many plants and companies have not done a good job of creating hazardous material protections and making sure workers and nearby residents are safe from hazardous chemicals.

The government requires that all companies file a Tier II form which is supposed to list all hazardous chemicals and substances on the property. These hazardous chemical records are then made public so that first responders can review them in the event of an emergency at the company or an explosion.

Reports show that many companies don’t file Tier II reports even though they are required, or fail to provide the proper information on the firm. There are about 500,000 chemicals that should be reported on these Tier II reports, and when companies fail to report them it can lead to worker chemical burns, injuries, and accidents.

Reuters discovered dozens of errors in Tier II reports, and has been able to identify many companies that never even filed their mandatory Tier II. In the past, the failure to file a Tier II has even resulted in chemical burns for workers or rescue teams at plants. This past year, a water-treatment facility in North Dakota failed to submit their Tier II report, and the company later found that the location held ammonium hydroxide, sulfuric acid, sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, and phosphoric acid.

The dangerous chemicals were never announced, and company officials say that they are not sure why the company did not comply with the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. If you are injured because of hazardous chemicals at a location where you work then you can hire a New York workers’ compensation attorney to represent you. With the right attorney on your side, you may be able to secure the settlement that you deserve!