Benzene is just one chemical that can pose deadly hazards to maritime workers aboard a cargo ship. The Jones Act protects a seaman’s rights if they become ill from this dangerous chemical. A New Orleans Jones Act attorney will protect a seaman’s rights as well.
The commercial shipping industry is an important part of our lives. Cargo aboard commercial ships can include many different materials and chemicals. Some of these materials can be hazardous to the crew of a shipping vessel. Most seamen do not know the full extent of their rights in relation to dangers like benzene, which is why a New Orleans Jones Act attorney is an important resource.
What is benzene?
Benzene is a naturally occurring chemical that has many industrial applications. It is found in fabrics, pesticides, and dyes. Since it also is in many petroleum products like gasoline, solvents, and crude oil, it finds its way into plastic products as well.
Benzene is a known carcinogen, and since it evaporates quickly, it is often inhaled. Research has shown that a year or more of exposure to the chemical can create serious health problems.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that benzene exposure can cause leukemia, a cancer of the blood-producing organs of the body. A New Orleans Jones Act attorney is available to argue for the rights of seamen made sick by benzene.
What happens after exposure?
Exposure to benzene can come in different ways. Because it evaporates quickly, it can be inhaled.
Handling cargo with benzene can allow for the chemical to be absorbed through the skin and can even be ingested in food that has been exposed to benzene.
Once a person has been exposed, maritime workers can experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. They may also feel tremors or have a rapid heart rate.
Long-term exposure can damage the immune system, cause internal bleeding, and cancer. On board a ship, there should be precautions in place to protect workers from exposure.
Ships should be equipped with detectors to alert crewmembers to the chemical. Protocols should be followed to ensure that the chemical is isolated from the crew, their food, and areas where workers are at risk for exposure.
If maritime workers are at risk for exposure, there should be protective gear and clothing available to prevent benzene from being ingested into the body.
Even with all the precautions, maritime workers are at risk of severe, and even deadly, consequences of exposure to benzene. The Jones Act ensures that the men and women aboard ships that carry this chemical have rights.
A New Orleans Jones Act attorney can explain all of your options, but sometimes it is necessary to seek compensation from your employer for your illness from benzene exposure.
The Jones Act provides that people who are victims of illness as a result of being in contact with dangerous chemicals can receive compensation if their employer was negligent in allowing it to happen.
New Orleans maritime workers are entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering associated with their illness from benzene. The Jones Act was created to ensure this. Once the chemical poisons the body, it may be difficult to work if you’re severely ill.
Benzene Victims Have Rights Under the Jones Act
A New Orleans Jones Act attorney can assist you if you’ve become ill from exposure to benzene aboard a vessel where you worked. The Young Firm has experience around the country with people who have been poisoned by benzene.
Order your free maritime injury law guide and learn what to do if you’re injured offshore. Call 504-680-4100, or 866-938-6113, if you’ve been exposed to this dangerous chemical and have questions about how to seek justice for your illness.