Millions of construction employees are at risk of severe or fatal injuries every day across the U.S., including the potential for dangerous exposure to chemicals. Working with paints, primers, adhesives, grouts, waterproofing agents, patching and leveling materials, coatings and sealants, lubricants, and cleaning formulas all place workers at risk of injury, including:
- Chemical burns. A caustic agent on a worker’s skin can cause a burn that requires grafting and results in permanent scarring.
- Blindness. Industrial agents can cause temporary or lifelong blindness if they enter a worker’s eye.
- Respiratory problems. In enclosed areas without proper ventilation, chemicals can push out breathable air and cause asphyxia or lung damage.
- Fires and explosions. Both the fumes and liquid forms of many industrial solvents are highly flammable, posing a risk of thermal burns or explosion.
OSHA Regulations Protect Construction Workers From Chemical Burns
In an effort to control the risks of chemical exposure, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that all chemical manufacturers and distributors provide Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each chemical used on job sites. The SDS must be accessible to all employees, and all employees should be trained on how to use them.
Information required in Safety Data Sheets include:
- The properties of each chemical
- Manufacturer's instructions for the safe handling of the material
- All physical, health, and environmental hazards of the material
- Proper protective measures for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical
OSHA also requires employers to train employees about the risks of each hazardous chemical, have a written spill control plan and provide spill clean-up kits in storage areas, train employees on proper clean-up and disposal of chemical materials, and provide and enforce the use of proper personal protective equipment.
If you were injured at your construction site by a chemical, there is a good chance your employer could have done more to prevent it. The New York construction accident attorneys at Hofmann & Schweitzer can examine the facts of your case and get you the maximum amount of compensation you are owed for your medical treatment and the lost ability to earn a living. Contact us online or call us directly at (800) 362-9329 today to schedule your free initial consultation.