Heavy machinery, tools and other equipment often combine with working at heights to make construction sites dangerous places to be and work accidents at such sites are all too common.
Common construction accidents
Work injuries on construction sites may result from vehicle, crane or scaffolding accidents; falling objects, inadequately maintained equipment and/or machinery and other factors. Potential work-related injuries may include:
- Cuts, bruises and fractures.
- Spinal cord or traumatic head/brain injuries.
- Loss of limbs.
High levels of noise may also lead to industrial deafness, and repetitive tasks or working with excessively vibrating machinery may result in cases of vibration white finger and a variety of other conditions commonly known under the umbrella term of repetitive strain injury.
Hidden risks of accidents at work
Construction work also carries less obvious risks of injury at work, one of which is exposure to toxic materials. Toxic exposure can, depending on the substance involved, cause a variety of personal injuries, including:
- Skin irritations
- Irritations to the eyes, nose and/or throat
- Chronic or debilitating lung conditions
- Kidney damage
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Reproductive issues
In many cases, effects are multiplied through prolonged or repeated exposure, while exposure to some materials may prove to be fatal even if exposure was comparatively short-term.
Toxic substances and construction site injuries
Some of the most common materials likely to cause workplace injuries if workers are exposed to them include are, for example:
- Carbon monoxide.
- Crystalline Silica.
- Fuels and solvents.
- Hexavalent chromium.
- Manganese, mercury and other metals.
While the use of many of these substances is now banned, they may still be released while working on older buildings.
Preventing injuries by toxic exposure
Construction companies are legally required to protect workers against exposure to toxic substances by providing adequate training, safe working procedures and well-fitting, regularly-checked personal protection equipment. Injuries received through failure to provide such training or equipment may entitle employees to work injury compensation.
Anyone injured by exposure to harmful substances through no fault of their own can establish their eligibility to claim for industrial injury compensation by calling the 24/7 advice line provided by Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500, 0333 500 0993 from a mobile or by visiting this law firm’s website and completing the compensation calculator.
Date Published: February 12, 2014
Author: David Brown