Along with numerous other hazards on construction sites, dust exposure can cause severe harm to the health of workers. While construction workers’ accidents typically have immediate consequences, the adverse effects caused by dust could develop over time. Employers in California and across the country are responsible for the safety and health of employees.
Studies published by the World Health Organization show that along with occupational lung diseases, dust exposure is also linked to the absorption and distribution of substances in the body. This systemic intoxication typically causes lead poisoning or silica-related lung diseases. Other dust-related illnesses include asthma, cancer, irritation, and allergic alveolitis, which are common in the construction industry.
Long-term exposure to low levels of dust is also linked to various non-respiratory diseases. Crystalline silica dust is a particular concern because the respirable particles bury themselves deep in the lungs of construction workers. This can lead to fatal or disabling diseases, such as lung cancer, silicosis and even kidney disease. Construction company owners must provide the necessary respiratory protection, regardless of the type of dust to which the workers are exposed.
Just like victims of construction workers’ accidents, those who develop lung diseases or other health consequences caused by dust exposure on the job can pursue compensation through the California workers’ compensation program. Because some of these diseases develop over time, proving it to be work-related can be challenging. The support and guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be invaluable. Legal counsel can assist with the navigation of the benefits claims process and work to achieve maximum compensation for the client under applicable laws.