On a typical construction job site, workers risk being exposed to any of a number of different hazardous chemicals. Toxic chemicals are used to treat wood, tile roofs, insulate pipes, paint the building, etc. There also dangerous particles that workers might breathe in, such as sawdust, concrete dust, dust from the demolition, and stone and masonry dust.
Because of the widespread potential for toxic exposure injuries, it is vitally important that all parties who are involved in a construction project follow OSHA standards and best safety practices. Unfortunately, this is all too often not the case.
Hazard communication is frequently among OSHA’s top most cited safety violations. In 2020, hazard communication was #2 on OSHA’s list with a total of 3,199 citations. When hazardous chemicals are not labeled appropriately and handled properly, it puts construction workers at serious risk of inhalation injuries.
In addition to mislabeling and mishandling (at the root of which is often a failure to properly train workers on these procedures), there are several other possible causes of inhalation injuries on a construction site. These include:
- Failing to properly warn of toxic substances and inhalation risks on the property.
- Failing to control the release of toxic fumes or particles.
- Failing to provide workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Failing to provide an adequate plan of escape in the event of a fire or the release of toxic substances.
An inhalation injury can be extremely serious and cause severe damage to a worker’s lungs and other organs. This type of injury will often keep a worker from returning to their job for an extended period of time. In the worst cases, toxic exposure can result in a life-threatening condition.
If you or someone close to you suffered an inhalation injury on a construction project, you may be entitled to significant compensation. But with these types of injuries, it is important to act quickly and obtain strong legal counsel before too much time passes. Crucial evidence has a tendency to disappear over time, so it is in your best interests to get in contact with an experienced attorney at your earliest convenience.
If your inhalation injury happened at an Atlanta area construction site or anywhere else in Georgia, contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for assistance. Our firm has 50 years of experience successfully representing injured workers, and we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
Our firm is focused exclusively on personal injury law, and we have an in-depth understanding of the complexities and nuances that are typically involved with these types of cases. We will closely examine every detail and look at every angle in order to get you the compensation you deserve.
Liability for Inhalation Injuries on a Construction Site
When someone suffers a toxic exposure injury, there are a number of potential legal options they may have in order to recover compensation. The first recourse is usually to file a workers’ compensation claim with the employer. Workers’ comp is a no-fault program, and you do not need to prove negligence in order to obtain benefits.
Although you can get benefits through workers’ compensation without having to show fault, these benefits are limited, and the compensation you receive will not be enough to cover all of your losses. The only way to obtain full and fair compensation for your inhalation injury is through a personal injury claim. Filing a personal injury claim opens the door to recovery of the intangible losses that you have suffered because of your injury, such as physical pain-and-suffering and emotional distress.
In Georgia, employers who have workers’ comp coverage are generally immune from workplace injury lawsuits filed by employees. So, an injured or sick construction worker would need to pursue a personal injury claim against an outside party.
On a typical construction project, there are a number of different third-party contractors and subcontractors that are working close to each other. If one of these parties causes or contributes to a toxic exposure injury, then that party may be liable for damages. A property owner could also be on the hook if they knew (or should have known) about an existing chemical hazard and did nothing to warn any of the workers.
Every case is different, and the legal avenues you have available will be determined by the specific circumstances in your case. This again is why we cannot stress enough the importance of getting an experienced attorney involved as early as possible, so they can gather all of critical facts and pieces of evidence and build the strongest possible claim.
Injured in a Construction Accident in Georgia? Contact Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. for Assistance
For strong legal guidance with inhalation injuries and all other types of workplace injuries in Georgia, call Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. at 678-981-5370 or message us online for a free, no obligation consultation.