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Conn-OSHA: Rocky Hill business site had dangerous chemicals

Hartford residents may be interested in a story of hazardous chemicals found in a business in Rocky Hill. Not long ago Conn-OSHA concluded the site was unsafe, and the case is a reminder of the obligation employers have to protect their workers. The case is also a reminder of how it may be necessary to file a third-party lawsuit to achieve the full measure of justice.

The owner of a car-detailing business says he found a green powder in the space he was renting at Bellamose Business Park. He assumed the substance was paint, and in setting up the business, he worked to remove the green powder from the site. But shortly thereafter, he and the people helping him fell ill.

In fact, the owner sought medical treatment, and it was shown that his lung capacity had been reduced by 30 percent. He says he constantly feels sick and thinks his illness is attributed to the green powder, which a Conn-OSHA report suggests is hexavalent chromium.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that hexavalent chromium is a dangerous chemical linked to ulcers, asthma and cancer. The OSHA report indicated that the chemical was found in a number of tests conducted at the site, which at one time was used to manufacture jet engines.

Pratt & Whitney, the company that manufactured the engines on the site until 2001, claims it was in compliance with state and federal regulations when the property was sold 12 years ago. The buyer of the property, said Pratt & Whitney, also performed due diligence in the purchase. The manufacturer pointed to black mold as the reason for the health problems faced by the owner of the car-detailing business.

Incidentally, he intends to sue a number of the parties in question.

This is the story of a business owner who suffered illness because of workplace conditions, but when employees are injured or made ill because of a dangerous work environment, workers' compensation may be available to cover medical bills and lost work time. Sometimes, however, it is necessary to go beyond workers' compensation. In any case, people suffering from a work-related injury or illness may want to speak with an attorney to determine the best course of action.

Source: wtnh.com, "ConnOSHA confirms hazardous chemicals inside Rocky Hill business park," David Iversen, July 23, 2013

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