Concrete Workers

January 29, 2019

At least 250,000 people work in concrete manufacturing and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), over ten percent of them experienced a job-related injury or illness in the span of a year. The construction industry is generally one of the most dangerous in terms of worker injuries and fatalities due to falls, being struck-by objectselectrocution, and getting caught in/between things (all part of the “Fatal Four” leading causes of death in the construction industry). Concrete workers face all of these, as well as other hazards unique to the job.

Common Concrete Worker Hazards

Concrete manufacturing poses several health and safety risks to workers, including:

  • Cement dust: Exposure can irritate the respiratory system and skin. Respirable crystalline silica, a mineral found in concrete, has also been known to cause silicosis, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and kidney disease.
  • Wet concrete: This can irritate the skin and even cause second or third-degree chemical burns. Wet concrete burns may take several hours or even days to surface, and in extreme cases may require amputation of a limb.
  • Machinery: Machines with moving parts must be properly guarded to protect concrete workers from crush injuries, scalping or degloving injuries, amputations, burns, blindness, or other injuries. Proper lockout/tagout procedures during servicing are also essential to worker safety.
  • Falling objects: According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates, falling objects injure or kill more than 50,000 U.S. workers a year.
  • Poor ergonomicsMusculoskeletal injuries may develop from improper lifting, repetitive motions, and working in awkward positions. Other types of injuries that may result from poor ergonomics include carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis, rotator cuff injuries, muscle strains, and back injuries.
  • Confined spaces: Concrete workers may encounter confined spaces in mixers and ready-mix trucks. According to OSHA, confined spaces can lead to death due to oxygen deficiency, toxic atmosphere, or combustible materials.
  • Vehicles: Drivers or other workers on site may be injured by vehicles that are poorly maintained, overloaded, or operated incorrectly. Cement loading and unloading can also expose workers to excessive levels of noise.
  • Welding: Concrete workers should use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when welding. If proper precautions are not taken, welding can cause flash burns, eye injuries, toxic chemical exposure, electrical shock, and other serious injuries.
  • Falls: Slippery surfaces, damaged ladders, stairs without guardrails, and loose footholds on equipment can cause concrete workers to slip, trip, or fall.
  • Overexertion: Concrete workers are at risk of overexertion due to long hours and temperature extremes. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), overexertion is generally the most common reason for workers’ compensation claims.

Concrete Worker Safety

Injuries can be prevented with the proper safety precautions, including:

  • Wearing a respirator
  • Washing off dust
  • Ensuring machine guards are in place
  • Stacking materials to limit the risk of falling object injuries
  • Training workers on proper lifting techniques
  • Implementing a lockout tagout procedure
  • Maintaining vehicles
  • Wearing the appropriate PPE

Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Concrete Workers Secure Compensation for Their Injuries

If you were injured at work or developed a work-related illness, contact a Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We have been representing workers for over 35 years, and we can help you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. Complete our online contact form or call us at 888-PITT-LAW today to arrange a free consultation.

We proudly represent injured workers in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery CountyPhiladelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum Lynne, DarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssington, FolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion StationMorton, Narberth, Norristown, NorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect Park, QuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.