Many people are familiar with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) “Focus Four” workplace injuries, which include falls, struck-by accidents, caught-in-between accidents and electrocutions. Falls are the most common cause of construction injuries and deaths.
However, the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) did its own study identifying other significant health hazards to construction workers. The group penned the “Focus Four for Health: An Initiative to Address Four Major Construction Health Hazards.”
The four “other” hazards for workers
While OSHA’s “Focus Four” campaign highlights workplace safety hazards, the AIHA initiative examines health hazards in the construction industry. They include:
- Manual material handling: Overexertion during lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling account for nearly a third of all work-related injuries and are a top cause of musculoskeletal disorders.
- Air contaminants: Dust, fumes, gases and vapors can cause short- or long-term conditions, ranging from minor irritations to asthma, kidney damage, cancer, pulmonary disease and nervous system disorders.
- High temperatures: Summers are getting hotter, and cases of heat stroke are becoming more common. An OSHA study of 13 heat-related cases found that four deaths occurred on the first day of the job.
- Noise: High noise levels can cause hearing loss and tinnitus, which is a constant ringing in the ears. Recent studies link excessive noise to sleep disturbances, heart disease, hypertension and depression.
Workplace hazards cause physical and financial harm
Health hazards at work can shorten careers, cause pain and disability, and even premature death. Workplace injuries often cause massive medical bills, lost wages and related expenses. If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, a Pennsylvania attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases can help you get the compensation you deserve, including if you are injured due to your employer’s negligence.