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What Do You Know about Respiratory Hazards on Construction Sites?

Attorney Mark Rufo PC

While working on a construction site, you must know hazards that could put your health at risk. Do you know how to reduce your chances of breathing in harmful particulates?

OSHA explains common respiratory hazards on construction sites. Your employer should understand these dangers and keep you and your coworkers safe. You could have a legal case if you suffer unnecessary harm.

Examples of respiratory hazards

Harmful construction site particulates and contaminants include silica dust and lead fumes. Grinding, welding, cutting, sandblasting and brazing may release these respiratory hazards. You may also encounter solvent fumes from paints, adhesives or cleaning solvents.

Anyone exposed to harmful fumes, mist, dust or gases could suffer harm within minutes. Other respiratory hazards take longer to make a person sick, possibly decades.

Reducing exposure to respiratory hazards

Protection methods for respiratory dangers include:

  • Local exhaust ventilation and other engineering controls
  • Reducing the number of workers exposed to respiratory hazards via administrative controls
  • Implementing wet-cutting techniques and other work practice controls

Companies should include these methods in their respiratory protection program.

Protection against respiratory hazards

You should have a respirator or other protection while working around respiratory threats. Also, your employer should supply you with such protection. Examples of respirators include:

  • Filtering facepieces for particulate hazards
  • Air-purifying respirator for vapors and gases
  • Supplied-air respirators for dangerous atmospheres

Your employer bears responsibility for deciding which respirator you need to safeguard you against specific hazards.

You deserve to work for an employer that understands all construction site hazards. Learning those dangers yourself helps you protect your rights and health.