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Can respiratory injuries happen on construction sites?

Construction site injuries come in all shapes and sizes. From minor cuts and abrasions to significant falls and broken bones, Chicago construction workers can suffer from a myriad of work-related harms. One type of construction-related injury that is not as obvious as those just mentioned is a respiratory injury or illness. Respiratory problems can affect construction workers when they breathe in harmful materials without the proper breathing apparatuses.

When buildings are demolished, particles can be released into the air. When buildings are erected, materials can be sprayed to sealed, clean, or otherwise aid in the completion of the building project. In both cases, the introduction of contaminants into the air can be detrimental to the health and welfare of those who must work in the vicinity.

Employers are required to provide their workers with breathing devices when those workers’ health may be compromised by airborne materials. While some breathing devices remove particles through filtration, others provide workers with clean air from independent air supplies. Federal regulations dictate when breathing devices are required and which type should be used based on the conditions present at the work site.

While inhalation of work site particles may not seem as damaging as a fall on a busy work site, the consequences of particle inhalation can be tragic. Asbestosis, silicosis, and many other diseases can result when damaging particles find their ways into workers’ lungs. These diseases can require extensive treatment and in the end can prove fatal to those who contract them.

Many work site injuries cause visible harm to individuals who have jobs on construction sites. Respiratory injuries, however, can silently impact the health and welfare of individuals who breathe in harmful building-related particles. Compensation may be available for those who have suffered construction site respiratory damage through the pursuit of personal injury claims.

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