The American Industrial Hygiene Association recently issued a list of the leading construction health hazards. Like accidents stemming from construction negligence, the hazards cited on the AIHA list may lead to life-altering or fatal consequences.
The AIHA recognized four common hazards. First, overexertion while lifting, pulling, pushing and carrying materials is the top cause of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. These hazards were involved in one-third of all construction-related work injuries and comprised about half of all workers' compensation costs.
Next, high noise levels may cause hearing loss and tinnitus. According to recent studies, this hazard may be linked to other conditions, such as sleep disturbance, cardiovascular disease, depression and balance impairment. Almost three-quarters of construction workers were exposed to noise levels exceeding the exposure limit set by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, according to a 2011 study.
The third hazard involves exposure to dust, fumes, vapors, gases and other air contaminants. These can cause short and long-term health problems, depending on the length of the exposure. Problems include cancer, kidney damage, asthma, irritation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and nervous system ailments.
High temperatures is the final hazard. It may cause heat stroke, which can lead to death or disability if it is not promptly treated. High temperatures may also cause heat exhaustion, heat syncope, cramps and heat rash.
Families who suffer the loss of a loved one from a health hazard or a work-related accident may be entitled to compensation and benefits. An attorney may assist them with a wrongful death lawsuit.