A group called the Center for Progressive Reform, or CPR, is pushing for reforms that would result in workplaces free from toxic chemicals. In a recently released report, the group claims that there is overwhelming evidence that workers in South Carolina and elsewhere are harmed by these substances. It says lobbying efforts have created hurdles that regulators have had trouble overcoming in the quest to create safer workplaces.

According to CPR, about 50,000 workers die annually in the United States because of health ailments acquired at work. In many cases, workers become ill after being exposed to chemicals. Those who work in hair salons, in the agricultural sector and in the chemical manufacturing space are among those most at risk for exposure. Although the CPR report does not claim it can account for all hazards that workers may face, it can help start a conversation.

This conversation would involve workers, unions and others who may be compelled to take action that can lead to change. It would also assist these and other parties in conducting research related to chemicals in the workplace. The CPR report offers information such as how workers and employers can work together to make a workplace safer. It also talks about how to file a complaint with OSHA or send a tip to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Those who experience a workplace injury or illness may be entitled to compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. An attorney may be able to help an employee file a workers’ compensation claim or help with an appeal. Workers should alert their employers to an injury or illness as soon as possible. This may allow a worker to bolster his or her claim that a health condition was related to a workplace accident.