Construction workers are exposed to many hazards on the job. Accidents involving heavy equipment and the risk of falls are ever-present, making it one of the most dangerous occupations one can undertake. A less-obvious hazard is that of toxins and chemicals – often invisible, exposure to them can create long-term health consequences.
Are you truly protected?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) heavily regulates the safety of all workplaces, including construction sites. Chemicals and toxins must be identified and labeled according to OSHA’s standard and employees must be trained to handle them properly. Asbestos, lead, paint, silicates, mold and many other hazardous materials must be dealt with correctly, to prevent injuries and illness to the employees who may be exposed to them.
When those who are responsible for workers’ safety fail to follow the procedures set forth by OSHA – such as supervisors, contractors or property owners – employees are threatened with a myriad of health problems. Acute injuries such as chemical burns and eye damage are common dangers, as are long-term complications like respiratory issues, cancer and organ damage.
Workers’ Compensation is designed to help those employees who are injured on the job, but it is not foolproof. Sometimes the full effects of toxin or chemical exposure are not apparent until long after a job has been completed. Fortunately, New York gives workers the right to file a lawsuit against those who neglected their safety, so that they may be fully compensated for their injuries. However, a thorough investigation must be conducted so, if you’ve been injured at work due to toxin or chemical exposure, seek the assistance of a qualified professional to guide you through the process.