If you work at a construction site, you know the dangers that an accident can pose. However, your job can impact your health in more subtle ways, and the occupational diseases that your everyday tasks can cause are no less worthy of attention. What hazards in the construction industry can lead to chronic conditions over time?
Even with hearing protection, the loud sounds of machinery and tools can lead to hearing loss over time. In fact, the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) states that around half of construction workers have noise-induced hearing loss.
Using hand tools that cause vibrations can have a significant impact on hand, arms and shoulders over time. It may cause tingling, pain and cold sensations. It can also cause people to lose grip strength or to develop bone cysts in fingers and wrists.
Vibrations of the body—caused by operating heavy machinery or standing on a vibrating platform—can also create fatigue, headaches or balance concerns. It can also contribute to a wide variety of different health conditions throughout the body.
Repetitive motions or static positioning
The everyday tasks performed by construction workers can require them to repeat specific motions or hold very still throughout the day. They may also work in cramped spaces, lift heavy items or bend repeatedly. Over time, these motions or stillness can cause damage to the muscles, tendons, joints and muscles in the body.
Exposure to dust, fibers and chemicals
Silica dust, asbestos, welding fumes that contain heavy metals and other hazards can fill the air on a construction site. These can lead to lung cancer, obstructive lung diseases and other serious conditions.
If the work you do has impacted your health, consider speaking to an experienced attorney to guide you through the workers’ compensation system. You may be able to receive compensation to help you treat occupational conditions.