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Salon Workers Experience High Levels of Dangerous Chemical Increasing Risks of Serious Georgia Workplace Injury

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) and State OSHA programs are currently investigating several complaints from salon owners and employees claiming to have experienced exposure to formaldehyde from the use of Brazilian Blowout products and other hair smoothing products, according to a recent OSHA Hazard Alert.

Our Atlanta workers compensation lawyers would like to warn employees and owners about the recent studies, which found formaldehyde present in the air when using so-called “formaldehyde-free” products. These products neglect to list formaldehyde on their product label, which could potentially cause serious damage to your eyes, throat and lungs if overexposed.
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During one of the investigations, the agency’s air tests revealed formaldehyde at levels greater than the recommended limits for a salon. Violations were recently handed out to an importer and distributor of the so-called “formaldehyde-free” product. The violations were for failing to list the hazardous ingredient. Exposure to these chemicals can be dangerous and can bring about a worker’s compensation claim in Atlanta or elsewhere.

“Workers have the right to know the risks associated with the chemicals with which they work, and how to protect themselves,” said federal OSHA Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. “Employers need to know these risks in order to ensure the safety and health of their employees.”

Formaldehyde can be very dangerous if a worker is exposed to dangerous levels or for an excessive amount of time. Formaldehyde can cause irritation to the eyes and nose while also causing allergic reactions to the eyes, lungs and skin. It has also been linked to nose and lung cancer. You can experience these side effects by either breathing in the chemical or coming into physical contact with it. Different levels of the chemical are tolerable by different people. Regardless, it is important to keep the levels under the recommended OSHA standard.

OSHA offers these tips to help salons keep their business in compliance with the recommended OSHA levels:

-Make sure that employees understand information on a product’s label before use.

-Install air ventilation systems in your salon, especially in areas where the products are used. Inspect the ventilators often.

-Require workers to use low heat settings on flat irons, blow-dryers and other heated hair utensils when possible.

-Post signs where formaldehyde may be above OSHA’s level to warn everyone of the dangers and ensure that only authorized personnel enters the area.

-Educate workers about the effects of the chemical. Make sure they understand how to safely use the product and what protective gear to wear during use.

-Make sure all workers are properly trained in techniques for cleaning up spill and properly disposing the product.

-Provide workers with respirators and train them how to properly use them, just in case.

The experienced Georgia work accident attorneys at the Law Offices of J. Franklin Burns, P.C. , have the knowledge to assist clients with obtaining the benefits they are entitled to under the Georgia workers’ compensation program. We carefully review all the facts of your claim to determine whether additional claims can be filed against someone other than your employer. For a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights, call 404-303-7770.