Construction workers suffer more work-related injuries than workers in any other industry. Most people understand the general dangers that construction workers face, such as potentially dangerous tools and falling from elevated platforms.
Toxic chemicals and other substances pose a more overlooked danger that is just as dangerous and potentially deadly as any other that construction workers face. Despite generally being overlooked, toxic substances are a leading cause of injuries and deaths among construction workers.
Commonly Encountered Toxic Substances
Construction workers often are working with or near toxic substances. Compounds, chemicals, and other substances could cause a variety of injuries of varying severity. Although it is strictly regulated, asbestos remains a commonly used toxic substance that could cause lung disease and deadly mesothelioma many years after inhaling the toxic substances. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that might saturate a room in which construction work is underway and could kill workers.
Other commonly encountered toxic substances include:
- Lead, mercury, and other metals
- Mold and mildew
- Solvents and fuel
Those are just several of the more commonly encountered toxic chemicals and other substances that might affect construction workers. Exposure could occur by inhalation, direct contact, or accidental ingestion of toxic chemicals and other dangerous substances.
Employers Must Protect Workers Against Toxic Exposures
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates dangerous substances in workplaces, including toxic chemicals that construction workers might encounter. OSHA also requires employers to properly train and equip their workers with safety equipment to protect them against possible exposure to toxic chemicals and substances.
Examples of acceptable safety equipment include helmets, respirators, and gloves. Hazmat suits might be required for especially dangerous work, like removing asbestos-laden fiberglass and other substances when tearing down or remodeling a building.
Employers must train their employees to work safely when they are handling or near toxic chemicals and materials. OSHA regulates how long workers can be exposed to specific toxic substances and the extent of that exposure.
Whenever OSHA receives complaints about non-compliance, employers must cooperate with any investigation that might be done. Job providers are responsible for ensuring a reasonably safe workplace by complying with OSHA regulations. They could be penalized with costly fines if they do not.
Proving Injuries Due to Work-Related Exposures
If you suffer a work-related injury or illness due to exposure to toxic chemicals or other substances, workers’ compensation should cover related costs. Those costs can include medical expenses, lost income if you miss more than three days of work, and partial or total disability if you suffer an especially serious health problem.
A medical specialist can help to diagnose and treat your work-related injury or illness. The specialist can help to show how your injury or illness commonly occurs due to the type of exposure that you suffered while working.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney could help to obtain evidence that shows you were exposed to toxic chemicals or other substances while working. The exposure would help to demonstrate that your injuries or illness more than likely occurred while working.
Pottstown Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan Fight for the Rights of the Injured
If you suffered a work-related injury and need help with your workers’ compensation claim, the experienced Pottstown workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC, can help. You can call 610-594-1600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. From our office in Exton, Pennsylvania we represent clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchland, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, Morgantown, and throughout Pennsylvania.