Why is construction a concern?
More than nine million U.S. construction workers build and maintain houses, roads, workplaces, and other projects. They include brick masons, carpenters, drywall installers, iron workers, plumbers, roofers, and welders. Electricians, engineers, and painters also work in construction. They can all be exposed to health and safety risks on construction sites.
Workers may be exposed to harmful chemicals that are in construction materials or are released during construction. Chemicals in construction materials include arsenic preservatives, lead coatings, and solvents. Demolition construction may expose workers to older insulation materials such as asbestos, PCBs and formaldehyde.
Construction equipment may run on diesel fuel. Diesel emissions may expose workers to carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds.
Construction workers may be exposed to dust that contains very small pieces of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica is found in concrete, masonry, sandstone, rock, paint, plaster, and shingles. If the silica dust builds up in lungs, it can cause an often fatal lung disease called silicosis.
Safety concerns in construction include falls, vehicle accidents, electrocution, machinery, falling objects, noise, and trench cave-ins.
This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.
Web Links from MedlinePlus (National Library of Medicine)
Construction (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Construction Craft Laborers. Haz-Map (National Library of Medicine)
Construction eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Construction Safety and Health (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Highway Work Zone Safety (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
Scaffolding eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Silica eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Steel Erection eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Trenching and Excavation eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Wood Dust (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Woodworking eTool (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
Chemicals in Construction
Are these chemicals in MY community?
Bisphenol A (BPA)
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs)
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Last Updated: November 19, 2013