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Fluorescent Bulbs and Risks of Mercury Exposure on the Job

There are two new educational resources to help you to avoid a serious, if not fatal, work accident in Boulder and elsewhere.  Officials with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) recently released new materials to help workers from being overexposed to mercury while working with and around fluorescent bulbs.  These kinds of bulbs are growing more and more popular by the day.  They’re more effective and more efficient than bulbs. These lights are also helping to save the environment by saving energy.  They’re not really helping to save workers though, especially when the proper safety precautions are not taken when dealing with these bulbs.

Unfortunately, these bulbs contain mercury and require a lot more attention by workers who handle them, dispose of them and even recycle them.

Our Boulder workers’ compensation attorneys understand that mercury is dangerous because it is a liquid that, at room temp, can evaporate into the air and can pose some serious threats to you.  What’s even worse is that is doesn’t have a color or an odor.  If you’re exposed to this material you run the risk of harming unborn children, should you be pregnant, damaging your kidneys and even ruining your entire nervous system.

The new fact sheet released by OSHA explains how workers can be exposed to this material, how to avoid exposure, the most effective protective equipment to use and how to properly dispose of these materials.

Signs of Mercury Exposure:

-Skin irritation.

-Allergic reactions.

-Inability to remember things.

-An alteration to mood.

-Affected coordination.

-Mild tremors.

Employees are asked to remember that mercury vapor isn’t the only way that you can be exposed to this chemical.  It can also come into contact with your skin and produce some of the same side effects.  You want to always make sure that you carefully handle and store bulbs away from workers and make sure that you keep them in a sturdy container to keep them from breaking.

One of the most important things to remember is that you never want to clean up a broken bulb with a broom or with a vacuum that is not specified for this kind of use.  Cleanup needs to be precise to ensure the safety of everyone.  Check out OSHA’s Quick Card for more information.

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Michael P. Dominick Workers Compensation Attorney
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Dominick Law Office
(303) 447-2644
250 Arapahoe Ave #301, Boulder, CO 80302

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