As any construction worker knows, construction work is a dangerous profession. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the top “fatal four” causes of construction workers’ deaths include falls, being struck by an object, electrocution, or being caught between objects. While asbestos exposure is not on this list, it remains a huge health risk for construction workers because sources of asbestos often surround them. Unfortunately, this exposure can cause employees to develop serious cancers or lung disease—often fatal.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads and was once popular because it is heat, fire, and chemical resistant and does not conduct electricity. The use of asbestos has been banned for most uses since the 1970’s, but many products and materials still have asbestos, causing workers to be exposed to dangerous levels on a daily basis.
Construction Workers At Risk of Being Exposed to Asbestos
There are many different trades within the construction industry, and each one has different risks of asbestos exposure. Workers in these trades face serious dangers of developing asbestos-related illnesses:
- Brick layers
- Operators of bulldozers
- Crane operators
- Crews working in demolition and building tear downs
- Workers hanging and taping drywall
- Home improvement and remodeling workers
- Workers who insulate buildings
- General laborers
- Masonry employees
- Tile and other flooring workers
Products That Endanger Construction Workers
Thousands of buildings contain materials that were made with asbestos, and construction workers continue to be exposed to this hazardous substance when working in older buildings. Unfortunately, not all asbestos was banned, so workers face additional sources of exposure. Some materials that put employees in danger include:
- Insulating products, including spray-on acoustic insulation
- Older flooring materials and vinyl flooring
- Drywall products
- Vermiculite products
- Duct tape
- Construction and roofing felts
- Insulating cement products
- Older paints and textured paints
- Cement flat and corrugated sheet
- Pipeline wrap
- Cement shingles
- Cement piping
- Certain non-roof and roof coatings
Because of their constant exposure to this hazardous material, construction workers are in danger of developing asbestos-related cancers, such as lung, gastrointestinal, and kidney, or serious respiratory illnesses causing life-long changes in their lives or even death. If you or a family member is a construction worker who developed an asbestos-related disease, check out our Testimonials and then start an online chat to learn how our experienced legal team can help you.