Department of Energy (DOE) workers are often exposed to radioactive materials during their careers, including chemicals, radiation and heavy metals. Prolonged exposure to these materials has been shown to put workers at an increased risk of developing occupational diseases including chronic silicosis, beryllium illness and certain cancers.
When you are working in a high-risk environment that is exposed to hazardous chemicals, it is important to understand how they get into the body and the dangers that they pose to our health.
All employers have the legal responsibility to keep workplaces as safe as possible. However, some workplaces are inherently at risk to dangers such as radiation, and there is only so much that can be done to limit this risk. Employees always have a right to a safe workplace; therefore, there are a great deal of protections in place if an illness or injury does occur, especially due to radiation.
If you are an energy employee and you have become ill as a result of your work, then there are protections in place to help you through this difficult time. There is also support available for relatives and dependents of those who have been injured or killed at work as an energy employee. These benefits are made possible by the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA). There are two main categories by which support can be accessed: part B or part E.
As a worker in the industries of mining, milling, transporting metals or nuclear weapons, you are under a much higher risk than the general population of being exposed to radiation. Although there are many protections in place to prevent exposure to radiation, it unfortunately does occur, and workers become subject to dangerous levels of radiation.
The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOICPA) provides benefits for those who have been affected by exposure to radiation or toxic substances while working at the Department of Energy. This blog will summarize the terms of eligibility for compensation from the progress, and how you should move forward if you decide to make a claim.