Rosengren Law Office, LLC

Construction workers face significant health hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) lists the four most common fatal injuries for construction workers. The agency’s “Fatal Four” includes, falls, electrocution, and accidents involving workers being struck by or caught in between equipment, vehicles or other items.

The most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 101 Minnesota workers were killed on the job in 2017 while 5,147 fatal work injuries occurred nationwide. Nearly half of the fatalities in Minnesota were the result of transportation incidents.

Safety group identifies other major health concerns

In addition to OSHA’s Fatal Four, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) has identified four other health hazards for construction workers:

  • Manual material handling: Overexertion injuries, such as strains, account for 30% of all work-related construction injuries and nearly half of all workers’ compensation costs.
  • Noise: The AIHA says 75% of construction workers are exposed to noise levels above OSHA’s recommended limits, which can result in many conditions such as, hearing loss, sleep disturbances, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression and chronic ringing in the ears, known as tinnitus.
  • Air contaminates: More than 50% of workers say they are regularly exposed to dust, fumes, vapors and gases at work. Overexposure can lead to asthma, nervous system issues, kidney disease and cancer.
  • High temperatures: Workers on construction sites are exposed to constant high temperatures during the summer months. A lack of precautions can result in heat-related illnesses, from minor conditions like cramps and heat rash to heat exhaustion or even heat stroke, which can result in death. Newly-hired workers are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Know your rights if injured on the job

Workplace injuries can cause lengthy and expensive medical treatments for workers and bring additional costs and result in lost wages. An attorney experienced with the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Insurance program will protect your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve. They can also help surviving loved ones recover benefits and other compensation in the event of workplace death.

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