Thousands of tons of cement and concrete are used nationwide in the construction of new buildings each year. From pouring foundations and creating pavements and walkways to installing heavy concrete blocks and floors, construction workers face many hazards while working around concrete and cement products.
Injuries Caused by Concrete and Cement on Construction Sites
Concrete burns are the most common injury suffered when pouring wet cement. These injuries occur when wet concrete touches a worker’s skin for long periods of time, such as when concrete finishers kneel on fresh cement without knee protection. Corrosive bleed water from concrete may be absorbed through a worker’s pants, fall inside a worker’s boots, or soak through gloves and sleeves, causing first-, second-, or third-degree burns. Concrete burns and skin ulcers can take several months to heal, and may involve hospitalization or skin grafts.
Concrete workers can also sustain other potentially serious injuries, including:
- Eye injuries. Different mixtures of mortar and grouting materials can contain abrasive particles that can damage the eyes when airborne. Exposure to dust when mixing or grinding can cause immediate or delayed irritation of the eyes, resulting in corneal scratches, chemical burns, or even blindness.
- Respiratory disorders. Cement dust contains a mixture of potentially toxic ingredients, including limestone, silicon, iron, calcium, aluminum, and gypsum. Workers who do not wear respirators or face protection when mixing cement can suffer irritation of the respiratory tract, chemical pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Cancer. Inhaling high levels of concrete dust over a long period of time (usually from sanding, grinding, or cutting concrete) can lead to a disabling and often fatal lung disease called silicosis. This disease is a result of high levels of crystalline silica in the airways, and has been linked to the development of lung cancer.
If you’ve been hurt on a New York construction site, our construction injury attorneys will work to get you the compensation you are owed, and we do not collect any fees until after your case is won. Simply fill out our quick online contact form or call (800) 362-9329 to speak with a lawyer at Hofmann & Schweitzer today, or read through our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.