New construction projects are a sign that a California community is thriving. Working conditions in the building industry can be challenging on the best days. The many hazards at construction sites can lead to long and short-term injuries.
Hazards that cause acute health issues
It only takes a second for an accident to happen when working with heavy equipment. A tool operated without safety precautions or a negligent vehicle operator can send another employee to the emergency department with serious injuries.
Gravity is another danger at building sites. A worker falling from a height may sustain broken bones or have life-changing back injuries. Even with mandatory hardhats, heavy objects falling on workers can cause head injuries, lost time and long recoveries.
Many workers’ compensation claims are not as traumatic. Construction workers must maneuver heavy materials around the workplace. Back injuries and strained or torn muscles are common complaints that require medical treatment, physical therapy and recovery time.
Hazards resulting in chronic health issues
Several worksite injuries are the result of damage that builds up over time. In some cases, workers may not realize the problem until after retirement.
Construction sites are noisy places. Working with loud tools for several hours each day can cause long-term hearing loss. Such auditory injuries are also linked to dementia later in life.
Holding a vibrating tool steady will cause soft tissue and nerve damage. Many workers will talk about numbness and tingling when they finish a session. Without adequate rest, this damage can become a chronic, permanent issue.
Working on older buildings may expose workers to hazardous chemicals. Breathing them in as fine dust can cause chronic lung problems and may contribute to cancers later on.
There will always be an increased level of risk when working in the construction industry. Both employees and managers must take every safety precaution to prevent worksite injuries.