Remodeling is one of the most common tasks of construction workers in Georgia. Construction professionals may be hired to remodel and update both commercial and residential buildings. Unfortunately, whenever a construction employee is doing his job in an older building, that construction employee faces the significant risk of exposure to many types of dangerous toxins and chemicals.
If a construction employee gets sick as a result of exposure to any chemicals on-the-job, the construction worker should be entitled to workers' comp coverage. Workers' comp claims based on workplace illness can be complicated, especially if illness develops a long time after the initial exposure. An Atlanta workers' compensation lawyer should be consulted to provide help when this exposure happens and construction workers get sick.
Atlanta Construction Worker Risks from Remodeling
Safety BLR reported on four of the most common toxins which construction workers have the most significant risks of being exposed to while doing remodeling projects. The common toxins that construction workers should be concerned about include:
- Mercury: Mercury is classified as a developmental toxin. It is often found in fluorescent lightbulbs; old wall switches; relays, high-density discharge lamps like those used in security lights; and thermostats which incorporate mercury into switching mechanisms.
- PCBs: PCBs are a carcinogen and are a reproductive toxin. Commercial production of PCBs stopped in the U.S. back in 1977, but PCBs can still be found in materials which are imported from other countries. Fluorescent light ballasts; insulating fluids for capacitors and transformers; adhesives; hydraulic fluids; fire retardants; and paint additives are among the different products which can contain PCBs.
- Lead: Lead is a developmental toxin and a toxic heavy metal. It is found in paint; batteries powering security alarms and lighting; pipes; and roof flashing.
- Asbestos: Asbestos is likely found in many structures that were built prior to 1980. Asbestos was very common in ceiling tiles; floor tiles; soundproofing materials; floor tiles; boiler blankets; and pipe wrap.
These are toxins found in lots of buildings in which remodeling work is performed. It is important that appropriate testing be conducted before construction work begins in order for an assessment to be made about what safety and mitigation efforts need to be undertaken during the job. Employers need to be responsible for this testing and for providing appropriate training to construction workers on the use of safety equipment and the protocols for dealing with potentially toxic material.
Unfortunately, all-too-often, employers cut corners or fail to take adequate precautions and construction workers are exposed to these common toxins that make them sick. This can result in the development of serious and sometimes fatal illnesses, including various types of cancer.
Employees affected by on-the-job exposure should consult with an experienced legal professional to find out how to prove their illnesses are work related so they can get benefits.
The Atlanta workplace accident lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent employees or their families after a workplace injury or death. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.