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The Most Common Hazardous Substances in Construction

The Most Common Hazardous Substances in ConstructionConstruction is one of the largest industries in America with one of the highest fatality rates. With nearly 6.5 million employed on more than 25,000 construction sites across the U.S. (OSHA), it is no surprise. To prevent workplace injuries on a construction site, contractors and employees must understand the potential hazards that can be faced on the job. They come in various forms such as gas, dust, and fumes. Manufacturers may provide ample material on safety and an overview of possible dangers on the premises, but accidents can still occur.

Unfortunately, many dangerous incidents get under-reported, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why? Most injuries and illnesses require unpaid time off for full recovery. Whether it is for two days or two weeks, it can have a devastating impact on one’s earnings.

When you or a loved one get injured due to the negligence of another you should consult with a Los Angeles personal injury attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim for damages caused. Although financial retribution will not heal a severe injury, it can ease additional burdens. Read on to learn about a few hazards that you may encounter and how to avoid getting hurt on a job site.


A solvent is found in common, everyday products like cleaning supplies, paint, and glue. Depending on the quantity, it can be hazardous when inhaled or if it gets on your skin. Construction workers who use or work around pure quantities of solvents, like acetone and esters should be vigilant. If a fire were to occur, these highly flammable solutions can cause severe to fatal burn injuries. Too much exposure over long periods of time can result in:

  • Blindness
  • Dizziness
  • Limited coordination
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Stomach aches
  • Cracked or bleeding skin
  • Irritated eyes, nose, and throat
  • Irregular heartbeats

To prevent this from happening, employees should wear a respirator to block the odor. Similarly, if the solvent is odorless you should continue to wear a mask to combat possible internal or external damage. Your employer is responsible for adequately reviewing safety material and data sheets before assigning tasks to the construction crew. A lawyer for construction injuries in Los Angeles would find them liable and negligent if they failed to do so and someone was hurt as a result.


Dust is a common and frequent occurrence on a job site. When the construction crew fails to set up dust suppression and extraction procedures or chooses not to wear dust masks they may get respiratory infections or related breathing issues.

According to The Building Safety Group (BSG), more than 1,000 construction workers die annually from breathing in dust and fumes. Employers are responsible for training workers, ensuring the site remains safe, and identifying possible risks of exposure to protect the construction crew. The main type of dust associated with construction projects are:

Silica Dust: Concrete and sandstone contain a high concentration of silica. When a construction worker breaks through the raw material the dust can enter the lungs and cause extreme damage, including asthma, chronic disease, and cancer.

Wood Dust: When cutting or sanding wood dust is produced, which can build up in the lungs without proper protection.

Lower Toxicity Dust: When working with drywall, limestone, and marble the dust can have detrimental consequences on your airway and lungs.


Mold is a common concern when construction crews are remodeling or working in buildings that retain a lot of moisture and can be hard to contain. Those with asthma or pre-existing health conditions should be careful when working without a respirator or mask.

When to Contact A Lawyer for Hazardous Job Sites

Injuries from toxins are not always apparent. It can take months if not weeks to show up. If you are suffering from a serious health condition caused by a harmful substance you were exposed to on a construction site, call our top-rated personal injury attorney at Grey Law. We can help you get through this difficult time and get you the compensation you need for treatment.

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