Coworker mishandling chemicals

I, along with 3 colleagues, received minor skin burns to arms and neck after using skin cleansing towelettes my company provides. Not long after, I discovered a coworker had been adding a hazardous chemical floor cleaner to the towelette containers, these containers state that the wipes are safe for hands and face. I reported it immediately. Her excuse was that she suffered no ill effects from the chemical and it worked better than the cleanser alone. The head of safety told me it had been handled and shouldnt be a concern any longer but it

happened again. I reported it. The fix was to no longer share the containers everyone using their own. It’s been about 6 months without incident. Tonight I found a container that has been left out all week for anyone to use has the chemical added to it. What are my options against my co-worker/employer for not taking the appropriate actions to protect my the employees health and safety? By the way, the floor cleaner isn’t used within the department where this is taking place. I’ve tried to have it removed to a proper storage area but have been given the run-around.

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It seems crazy that an employer would allow an employee to mix chemicals.  The chemical reaction is unknown and could result in harm to other employees or property.  Unfortunately, some employers are just not that motivated to handle workplace safety complaints in a responsible manner.  My suggestion is that you file a workplace safety complait with OSHA.  Their main function is to insure workplace safety.  Reports are confidential, so they should not disclose your name.  


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