When you see a new swimming pool or a perfectly poured concrete foundation, it is truly a thing of beauty. Concrete makes our modern world possible. In fact, it’s the most widely used building material in the world. But anyone who knows concrete will tell you that it’s very challenging to work with. If certain precautions are not taken, working with concrete can be dangerous.
If you have been injured while working with concrete on a construction site, contact the New York construction accident attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP by calling (212) 986-7353. Our team will review your eligibility for compensation to cover the cost of your medical care and time lost from work.
Concreted is a remarkably strong, versatile, and dependable material. But it requires a great deal of specialized knowledge to protect workers against the damage it can do to your body when the right safeguards are not in place. Mishandling concrete may cause the following types of injuries:
- Eye injuries and loss of vision. Cement contains tiny abrasive particles which can damage your eyes. Concrete dust can easily become airborne, causing immediate or delayed irritation. When the proper precautions are not taken, it can lead to chemical burns, corneal scratching, and even blindness.
- Respiratory injuries. Breathing concrete dust as bags of cement are emptied and while sanding, cutting, and grinding concrete may cause breathing problems, including chronic respiratory pulmonary disease (COPD). Long-term exposure may even lead to a lung disease called silicosis which can be fatal.
- Loss of hearing may result from long-term exposure to the loud machines required to cut, sand, mix, and pour concrete.
- Skin Injuries. According to OSHA, concrete workers lose four times as many workdays to skin problems than other types of construction workers. Concrete absorbs an immense amount of moisture. This can seriously damage the living tissue in your body, especially your skin. Whether it’s wet or dry, exposure to concrete may cause burning, blisters, scaling, dead skin, and permanent disfigurement.
Employers and supervisors in the construction industry have an obligation to follow OSHA guidelines and use industrywide best practices to protect workers form injuries caused by concrete exposure. It is essential that concrete workers are equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, including:
- Alkali-resistant gloves
- Waterproof boots duct-taped at the top to keep moisture and concrete out
- Long-sleeve coveralls and full-length trousers
- NIOSH-compliant eye protection
- NIOSH-compliant respirators
Safe concrete work practices include:
- Minimize the amount of cement dust released whenever possible.
- Mix dry cement in ventilated areas.
- Work upwind from cement dust.
- Limit onsite mixing by using ready-mixed cement.
- Wet cut instead of dry cutting whenever possible.
- Provide adequate hygiene facilities for workers to wash their hands throughout the day.
- Use a dry board to protect workers when they are kneeling on wet concrete.
If you are a cement or concrete finisher or any other type of construction worker who has been injured by exposure to concrete on the job, call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP today at (212) 986-7353. We’ll fight to get you a settlement that provides fair compensation to cover the cost of your injuries and the time you are away from work.