When most of us imagine suffering an injury on the job, we picture a broken leg or fall from a height that leaves us lying in a hospital room until we are fully recovered. Unfortunately, some injuries are not as immediate as a sudden accident, causing injury over months and even years on the job.
One of the most dangerous elements of construction work is exposure to hazardous chemicals. According to the Occupational Health & Safety Administration, over 32 million workers—nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. workforce—are regularly exposed to toxic chemical products in their daily work environment.
The following elements explain the risks and dangers of chemical exposure affecting thousands of New Jersey construction workers every day:
- Who: There are currently over 10 million workers in the construction injury, including carpenters, painters, plumbers, roofers, and welders—any one of which could suffer a chemical exposure injury. Each worker is likely to suffer an injury based on the length of time around chemicals, daily habits, and the nature of his work requirements.
- What: Construction workers commonly risk exposure due to the release of toxic materials needed for construction or present on the worksite. In the past, these chemicals have included arsenic, lead, asbestos, formaldehyde, ozone, pesticides, and other preservatives and solvents.
- How: There are many ways construction workers may be exposed to toxic elements. Demolition workers often come into contact with old insulation materials, such as asbestos, PCBs, and formaldehyde. Cranes, forklifts, and other heavy machinery can lead to toxic exposure to diesel fuel emissions.
- When: Exposure may cause immediate symptoms, or it can build up over time into a serious, even life-threatening condition. Long-term exposure to silica (found in the dust from concrete, sandstone, masonry, plaster, paint, and other building materials) has caused many construction workers to develop silicosis, a painful, inflammatory lung disease that is often fatal.
In cases of chemical exposure, it can be difficult to prove that your injury was caused at work without the help of an experienced Morristown construction accident lawyer. Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. has been fighting for injured workers’ rights for years, and can help you get the evidence you need for a settlement that will pay your medical expenses and compensate you for your lost wages.
Call us today at 877-360-0183 to begin your FREE, one-on-one consultation, or click the link above to download our FREE electronic book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers’ Comp Guide.