Construction Workers Have High Rate of Accidents and Injuries
The accident rate among construction workers is higher than that of workers in most other jobs, according to government statistics ( California Department of Industrial Relations; Division of Labor Statistics and Research). Many deaths and severe injuries have resulted from falls from buildings, scaffolds, or ladders. Scaffold accidents often occur because the planking or support is defective and gives way, causing serious harm to an unsuspecting employee.
Heavy lifting, trench cave–ins, slippery surfaces, and machinery accidents can also cause problems ( NIOSH Facts, Construction Safety and Health). Moving machine parts are dangerous. Without proper workplace precautions and machine guarding, these parts may injure fingers and hands, or even amputate body parts.
As if that were not enough, construction workers may develop chronic diseases such as asbestosis, asbestos lung cancer, mesothelioma, and silicosis. Silica may become airborne when concrete or silica–containing rock is chipped, hammered, or drilled. Silicosis results from breathing dust containing very fine particles of crystalline silica. It is a scarring and stiffening of the lungs. Asbestosis and mesothelioma are asbestos–related diseases that lead to severe respiratory problems. Sadly, mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that is almost always fatal. The development of asbestosis, asbestos–related lung cancer, and mesothelioma may not be readily apparent; decades may pass before workers become ill and show symptoms.
Legal Help for the Construction Worker
If you are a construction worker who has developed a disease or injury due to your job, you may have a workers' compensation claim against your employer. But it is important to understand that you may also have a large claim against another contractor or the manufacturer of the product that caused your injury. At Brayton Purcell LLP, we are experienced in handling all these issues, including the health problems resulting from asbestos exposure. Please feel free to contact Brayton Purcell LLP today to learn more about construction work and your legal rights.