We are accustomed to reading about serious accidents at construction sites and factories, but workers can face life-threatening injuries at all kinds of work sites. Recently in New York, a lifeguard was seriously injured by chemical fumes when he was cleaning an indoor swimming pool.

According to news reports, the man was preparing to clean a swimming pool in the basement of a luxury apartment building in New York’s Upper East Side when he was overcome by chemical fumes. The chemicals included chlorine and hydrochloric acid, which can release chlorine gas when mixed. In large enough doses, chlorine gas can be deadly. It was used as a weapon during the First World War.

The worker was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was said to be in serious condition. Workers and residents of the building reported burning eyes and respiratory problems.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. An injured worker does not have to show that the employer did anything wrong in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits. However, workers’ compensation benefits are meant to be an exclusive remedy, meaning that a worker who collects benefits is not allowed to file a personal injury claim against the employer related to the same accident.

Worker’s compensation benefits can pay for medical care and offset lost wages while the injured worker is unable to return to work, and they can be vital in helping injured workers and their families to cope with the aftermath of an accident. Workers who have been injured on the job can talk to a lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation law to learn more about their rights and legal options.