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Workplace injuries: Worker doused with mosquito control chemical

Workplace accidents nationwide, including in California, are sometimes incorrectly associated with industries such as construction, mining and other occupations that require a great amount of physical labor. However, every industry has its own hazardous conditions. Workplace injuries can be suffered in any workplace environment at which safety hazards are not adequately addressed.

Three employees of the mosquito control district in another state recently suffered the effects of chemical exposure that is thought to have originated from a leaking hose. One of them was doused with almost two gallons of a dangerous chemical called Dibrom. He was airlifted to a regional medical center for treatment and was treated there for five days.

The other two workers were less severely affected by the chemical and were both released from the hospital after treatment. It was reported that the warning label on the container of the concentrated Dibrom indicated that it can cause eye and skin damage that might be irreversible. Furthermore, inhalation or absorption through the skin can be harmful, and it contains a special warning not to breathe the mist or vapor produced when spraying the chemical.

It was reported that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration had been advised, and the agency may be able to determine the cause of the leaking hose. Most workers in California are covered by the workers compensation insurance system, and any workplace injuries suffered entitle workers to pursue benefits. The program offers workers' compensation benefits that typically cover medical expenses and also lost income for workers whose injuries prevented them from returning to work immediately.

Source: keysnet.com, "OSHA contacted after Mosquito Control staffer doused with chemical", William Axford, Oct. 21, 2015

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