The workers’ compensation insurance system provides financial relief for Ohio workers who have suffered on-the-job injuries or illnesses. Unfortunately, many occupational diseases develop over time after workers have been exposed to toxic chemicals, radiation and more. Such conditions may have caused permanent impairment, and these claims are often complex because proving the illnesses are work-related can be difficult.

It was recently reported that some former federal workers are fighting for fair compensation for conditions, including prostate cancer, that developed after retirement. As security guards, their task was to protect bomb-grade uranium at a gaseous diffusion plant in Portsmouth toward the end of the Cold War. One victim explained that guards had to travel on the back of enclosed armored trucks together with cylinders containing highly enriched uranium. During each trip, the guards would be exposed to radiation for more than an hour while no personal protective gear was provided.

The former guard said the workers were part of a secrecy-cloaked operation in which production was prioritized over worker safety, and records were allegedly falsified, destroyed or lost. Many of the workers who believe exposure to enriched uranium caused their medical conditions reported that the U.S. Department of Labor denied their claims. Congress passed the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program to address such cases, but many workers have been demoralized by their failures to secure financial relief.

Workers in Ohio who have suffered permanent impairment caused by unsafe workplace environments may benefit by consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who is experienced in handling compensation claims. A lawyer can assess the viability of such a claim, whether at the state or federal level, and explore the options to resolve the issue. If a claim is denied initially, an attorney can provide guidance and support in navigating the appeals process.

Source: truth-out.org, “Ailing, Angry Nuclear-Weapons Workers Fight for Compensation“, Jim Morris and Jamie Smith Hopkins, Dec. 22, 2015