Contractors that take shortcuts or rush to meet a deadline are risking the health and wellness of their workforce. Construction firms must always remind themselves that it’s their responsibility to conduct a risk assessment of their jobsite and to reduce or eliminate any potential risks. If hazards are overlooked, this will result in significant accidents, raised premiums, or a visit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In the final part of this series, a construction lawyer will discuss chemical and airborne hazards that may exist at your construction site. To catch up on this five-part series, please read parts one, two, three, and four. If you need defense against an OSHA citation or your site needs a thorough inspection from one of our experienced OSHA defense attorneys, contact Cotney Construction Law.
Exposure to chemicals can leave a worker with irritated skin, difficulty breathing, sudden illness, or serious, long-term health conditions. Chemical hazards have many forms, and some workers are more sensitive than others to certain substances. From solid materials to gases, vapors, fumes, or flammable, corrosive substances, chemical hazards come in many forms. Exposure to a chemical hazard can have a serious impact on the health and safety of a construction site.
Construction sites should have all containers holding chemicals labeled and properly stored. Expiration dates should also be checked regularly. Reducing exposure to chemicals is crucial and any workers within a close proximity to hazardous chemicals compounds should be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that prohibits them from exposure.
Airborne hazards are toxic substances that are not visible to the eye, but can greatly impact the health of a construction worker when inhaled. Even a perceived harmless substance like construction dust can be a hazardous material that damages a worker’s lungs and leads to long-term health effects. Another example of a serious airborne hazard is asbestos which impacts thousands of workers annually.
If a worker discovers something suspicious at the jobsite, they need to be trained on how to handle these situations. Furthermore, every single worker needs to be wearing the appropriate PPE to protect themselves against these harmful elements.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.