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Category Archives: Premises Liability

Construction workers are subject to all kinds of hazards on the job, not the least of which is toxic substance exposure. The toxic substance need not be exotic and it is not limited to anyone area; in the US 18% of all construction workers suffer to some degree to toxic substance exposure. Although exposure is usually short-term and intermittent because construction workers usually move from job site to job site, it is likely to recur frequently. This is because many of the toxic substances encountered onsite are endemic in a particular construction task such as bricklaying, welding and demolition.

The health consequences are varied, depending on the toxic substance and the amount of exposure. Toxic substance exposure is usually through inhalation of airborne fumes, mists, gases, dusts and vapors, but it can also be through skin contact or through ingestion. Some of the toxic substances one is likely to encounter in a construction site are glues, dry cement, organic solvents and heavy metals in soldering iron. According to the website of New York-based law firm Hach & Rose, LLP, many construction workers are not even aware that they have been exposed to toxic substances until much later when the symptoms appear. In this sort of situation, discussing your case with a construction accident attorney in your area may be a wise legal decision.

The most linked health issues to the construction industry due to toxic substance exposure include:

  • Asbestosis
  • Bronchitis
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Lead poisoning
  • Lung cancer
  • Neurologic disorders
  • Silicosis

The Code of Federal Regulations tackles the problem of toxic substance exposure under 29 CFR 1926.55 and 29 CFR 1926 Subpart Z, but no amount of legislation can prevent construction workers from getting exposed to harmful substances at work if the employer or construction site manager chooses to ignore the regulations. As a result, many construction workers end up with lifelong debilitating health problems and financial difficulties through no fault of their own.

If you or someone close to you incurred health problems due to toxic substance exposure while at a construction site, you could be eligible for a personal injury suit. Consult with a lawyer with a good track record in handling toxic substance exposure cases in the area.

Construction accidents involving falling objects can lead to serious injury, especially if it falls from great heights. The hazards posed by falling objects are not limited to people working on the site; it could also affect people in adjoining and adjacent areas who may merely be passing by or who have business in the area. In one case in New York, a man sitting inside his condominium was killed when a crane crashed into his building and landed in his living room. This is why it is important that construction site managers and owners take safety precautions to protect people from being injured by falling hazards such as placing safety nets, posting warning signs and training workers on safety protocols.

Falling hazards could be as small as a screwdriver or as big as a whole crane. According to the website of law firm Hach & Rose, LLP, failing to take even the most basic safety measures is negligence. Construction companies are mandated by law to implement policies that would ensure the site is as safe as possible for workers and any other people who may be in the area.

Workers need to be instructed to secure all tools and materials, especially when working at height, since a screwdriver plummeting down from 20 stories up can seriously injure or even kill a person at ground level. Operators of cranes and other lifting machinery need to make sure that the loads they are carrying are secure and stable. Supervisors need to ensure that equipment such as cranes and scaffolding are in good working order and safe to use, especially in areas where there are other people around who may not be aware of the potential falling hazards looming above them.

Those who are victims of falling hazards-related construction accidents may have legal recourse to get compensation for their injuries and attendant costs. It is important to engage an attorney experienced in dealing with falling hazards injury cases in construction accidents.

Slips and falls might not seem like serious occurrences, but they result in thousands of injuries and fatalities each year across the United States. In fact, slips and falls together comprised one of the top five most common workplace accidents last year based on data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Businesses and employers are responsible for keeping their premises safe in order to prevent slips, trips, and other accidents. If a business fails to ensure customer safety, a slip could cause anything from head trauma, nerve injury, paralysis, and death.

A number of accidents can be prevented just by being careful. It’s important to know the most common causes of slip and fall injuries, as well as the best ways to successfully navigate dangerous surfaces.

Major factors causing slips, trips, and falls:

  • Wet or slippery surfaces, including polished, wet, and waxed floors.
  • Environmental conditions, including ice, snow, and water. “Black ice,” a layer of thin, almost-invisible ice, can be hard to detect and causes frequent injury.
  • Insufficient lighting, which can hide obstacles or drop-offs.
  • Elevation changes, including stairs. Many stair-related injuries are caused because of stairs with uneven surfaces and tread heights.

Best ways to avoid slips and falls:

  • Wear shoes with good traction.
  • Use handrails and other objects to steady yourself and retain your balance.
  • In the event of a fall, use your hands and legs to protect your head, neck, and spine from injury.

Businesses or workplaces with insufficient warning about slippery surfaces are often responsible for slip and fall injuries. If you have been hurt in a slip or fall, you should seek medical help immediately.