Q: I am being exposed to cleaning chemicals at work, by a business next door to where I work. Can I take them to court?
They say they are allowed to dump there by the City of Sedona, I stand above the drainage pit all day for 9.5 hours every day, for 8 years, burning eyes, throat, lungs. I have complained to my boss, his boss, the business that's dumping, and the city of sedona, who says they are allowed to do it. I am having medical problems,because of this. Sinus inflamation, just found out mild emphysema, eye irritation. What can I do?
Thank you for your inquiry. I see a couple of issues you want to follow up. I would first contact the Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health (https://www.azica.gov/forms/adosh2213) and the US Department of Occupational Safety and Health (I don't have a link to the federal form), and hopefully they will send an inspector to investigate what is dumped that you are then exposed to at your job. I'm not familiar with that area of the law but I would think the City of Sedona does not have the final word on potentially toxic materials just because it issued a permit. That also does not mean you have not been injured by your exposure. You can notify your employer that you want a medical evaluation, or since you have already notified your employer and they apparently have done nothing just go on your own and have the health care facility (ER, urgent care) or provider (your personal doctor or specialist) file a Workers' and Physicians Report of Injury (ICA Form 102).
I will tell you that letting this go for eight years may be a problem, even with an ongoing exposure, because you generally have one year from the time you know or should have know about an "injury" to file a workers' compensation benefits claim. The eight year exposure without anything serious enough for you to go on your own to a doctor also suggests this is not a major problem, but hopefully what I gave you here is a start. Thank you again
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
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