Construction workers face numerous on-the-job hazards. As a result, between 700 and 1,000 workers are killed and an additional 150,000 are injured in construction site accidents each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Exposure to perilous substances and chemicals is a leading cause of injury among workers in the construction industry.
Dangerous substances can come in various forms, including solids, liquids, vapors, gases, fumes, mists, and dusts or fibers. Construction workers can be exposed to toxic materials on the job site through inhalation, touch, or accidental ingestion.
Potentially hazardous substances and chemicals on a construction site include:
- Solvents. Fumes from paint thinners, glue, spot removers, and other solvents can be particularly hazardous when the product is used in a poorly-ventilated area.
- Asphalt. Used in both home construction and road work, asphalt can be dangerous for workers due to noxious fumes that cause headaches, eye and throat irritation, and fatigue.
- Asbestos. A group of six silicate minerals commonly used in building materials between the 1950s and 1980s. Asbestos is the leading cause of a cancer known as mesothelioma.
- Silica. Cutting, drilling, or crushing building materials made of stone can expose workers to harmful silica dust particles.
- Lead. Nearly one million construction workers are exposed to lead each year, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which can have long-term health effects.
- Formaldehyde. Used to produce a number of building materials, formaldehyde is known to cause health problems in humans.
- Hexavalent chromium. Used in primers, paints, and other surface coatings, this substance is a known carcinogen.
These hazardous substances and chemicals result in significant health conditions, including cancer, reproductive system damage, respiratory illnesses, liver and kidney damage, and neurological and gastrointestinal effects.
Were You Exposed to Harmful Substances or Chemicals on the Job Site?
If being exposed to harmful substances or chemicals on a construction site resulted in serious injury, you may be entitled to compensation. The skilled attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can review your case and help you explore legal options. Contact a workers' compensation attorney today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case analysis.