Q My husband is a construction worker. Our doctor recently told us that he has lung damage from chemical poisoning. How can I find out who is responsible?
In order to find out who is liable for your husband’s injury, we will have to investigate why and how the exposure occurred. How is the method by which the poison entered your husband’s system, and why explains the events that led to his coming into contact with a hazardous substance.
The most common ways poisoning injuries occur on construction sites:
- Inhalation. Lung damage from chemical poisoning is most commonly caused by breathing in toxic gases, vapors, or other inhalants. This causes irritation in the nose, mouth, and throat, eventually causing coughing and shortness of breath as they enter the lungs.
- Ingestion. In some cases, lung damage may also be caused by swallowing small particles of hazardous materials. Chemicals may also land as dust on eating utensils or cigarettes, causing them to enter a worker’s system after the work is over.
Once we know the route of injury, we can begin to assess fault. Your husband may have suffered an injury due to:
- Inherent hazards. These are the everyday known and accepted dangers of the worksite. They include the dangers of each type of equipment used and the most common ways they pose a threat to workers. Since these hazards are necessary to the work, employers have a duty to implement and maintain safety standards.
- Induced hazards. These are potential safety issues that arise from incorrect actions, decisions, and directions that occur during the regular workday. For instance, while a chemical may carry an inherent hazard of inhalation, a worker may be given a non-ventilated face mask because the required protective device was deemed too expensive by the employer.
Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr., is a trusted Morristown construction accident lawyer who can help you get fair compensation for your injury. Call us today at (877) 360-0183 or to start your FREE, one-on-one consultation.