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Aggressive Counsel for Victims of Hazardous and Toxic Material Exposure

Claiming Maximum Compensation for Construction Accident Injuries

Construction workers face a scope of workplace hazards every day, ranging from falls from scaffolding to slip and fall accidents to electrocutions.

Other hazards that are less obvious, but equally as dangerous, involve exposure to toxic chemicals like asbestos, carbon monoxide, and lead.

If the appropriate safety precautions are not taken, workers can suffer a range of health issues that can include burns, certain types of cancer, organ damage, and neurological injuries. To protect the health and safety of construction workers, employers must make safety a priority and provide the appropriate training and protective safety gear for workers who are exposed to hazardous materials.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), to ensure that employers provide workers with important information about chemical and toxic hazards in the workplace, and the protective safety gear that should be used.

The HCS requires the dissemination of the following information:

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers must prepare labels and safety data sheets that highlight the hazards of the chemicals they are providing to their customers.
  • Employers must make these labels and safety data sheets available to all employees who will be handling these materials. Employers must also provide training on the hazards of each material, and the appropriate way to handle and dispose of the material.

Examples of Toxic or Hazardous Materials

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the following are some of the most hazardous chemicals that are found at construction sites:

  • Asbestos: Close to 15,000 people die each year in the United States from asbestos-related illnesses. Asbestos exposure can lead to a range of health issues, including mesothelioma, a potentially fatal form of lung cancer. It is generally found in old building products like floor tiles, pipes, shingles, and cement board.
  • Formaldehyde: The World Health Organization (WHO) considers formaldehyde to be a carcinogen. Exposure can irritate the mucous membranes and cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Formaldehyde is commonly found in certain types of polymers, including those that are used to manufacture carpets, as well as resins used to manufacture paper products.
  • Diisocyanates: These are used in polyurethane products like rigid and flexible foams, coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers. It is the vapor or liquid form of these materials that can be hazardous.
  • Flame retardants: These materials are used to prevent fires. Halogenated flame retardants can cause cancer, birth defects, endocrine disruption, and developmental problems in children.
  • Silica: Silica is found in bricks, glass, and concrete. When silica dust is inhaled, workers can suffer silicosis and lung cancer, both of which can be fatal.

While not on the EPA’s list of most hazardous materials, mold is also a potentially hazardous substance that is present at most construction sites, particularly in buildings where moisture is a problem.

In addition to causing a range of respiratory problems like asthma, allergies and respiratory infections, it can break down other building materials, which can release additional hazardous organic compounds into the air.

Health Risks of Toxic or Hazardous Material Exposure

Health risks associated with exposure to toxic materials are generally categorized into the following two groups:

Common acute effects

  • Anaphylactic shock from an allergic reaction
  • Dermatitis
  • Lethal concentration
  • Corrosivity that burns or dissolves the skin
  • Metal fume fever
  • Other skin irritations

Common chronic effects

  • Asbestosis
  • Cancer
  • Cumulative hearing disorder
  • Mesothelioma
  • Occupational hearing loss
  • Silicosis

Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC Represent Victims of Toxic Material Exposure

If you have become seriously ill or injured after being exposed to hazardous or toxic materials while working at a construction site, do not hesitate to contact the Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at McCann & Wall, LLC at your earliest convenience. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, and ensure that your legal rights are protected every step of the way. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 215-569-8488 or contact us online. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

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