Construction workers may be exposed to hazardous chemicals as part of their work, through negligence or accident. Sources of toxic exposure can include poisonous chemicals, dusts, fuel, paint, groundwater, smoke, asbestos, radiation, pesticides, gasses, pharmaceuticals, irritants and many more. Depending on the product involved and the use, manufacturers, suppliers, supervisors, builders, corporations, or business owners may be held liable for exposing a worker to a toxic substance. If suppliers or manufacturers do not properly label materials or chemicals, indicating their potential hazards, handlers can be injured.
Employers or contractors may also be liable for accidents due to exposure to toxic substances when they fail to properly train their personnel, provide workers with protective equipment and appropriate work clothing, or install disinfection stations in the work area.
In some cases, exposure to chemicals may go undetected for long periods of time (such as when air pollution occurs), as some products do not have an odor and do not produce immediate reactions. For that reason, it is imperative to seek the advice of a toxic exposure lawyer to initiate an investigation and begin legal proceedings.
Injuries due to exposure to toxic substances
Just as there are many possible sources of exposure to harmful products, injuries related to contact with toxic substances can be varied, including the following:
- Dizziness and headaches.
- Flu-like symptoms, allergies, and breathing difficulties.
- Eye irritation or damage, including blindness.
- Mild to severe asthma or lung damage.
- Brain damage.
- Nerve damage.
- Organ damage.
- Wrongful death.
- Childhood defects.
- Fertility defects.
What to do if a worker is injured at work?
Every employee and employer should be empowered to report hazards, unsafe conditions, and possible accidents within the work area. However, some accidents are unavoidable.
In these cases, it is important to report the injury or accident immediately to the company or employer to preserve the right to a workers’ compensation claim. In addition, it is essential to seek professional and legal help to understand the procedure, as each state has defined different requirements, deadlines, and conditions for responding to these situations.
Here are some other useful practices to avoid occupational hazards in construction:
– Consult the instruction manual the first time any equipment is used.
– Carry out cleaning and maintenance of equipment while it is switched off.
– Use personal protective equipment whenever required. This includes safety helmets, safety shoes, among others.
– Maintain the hygiene of the facilities.
– Safety training and establishing emergency orders in advance and hazard management.
– Hold regular security meetings.
When to seek a lawyer if you have been exposed to a toxic substance?
It is important to seek help from a construction accident lawyer if you believe you have suffered an occupational injury or illness related to contact with chemicals that have harmed your life and work performance. Remember, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that you work in a safe environment. Your attorney will investigate how and where the exposure occurred, the type of substance involved, the injuries or illnesses caused, and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.