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Health on the job: common cancers among construction workers

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Construction Accidents

Construction workers face many health risks related to their profession, including the risk of certain types of cancer. There are several common types of cancer that construction workers may encounter and measures that can help reduce these risks.

Common cancers in the construction industry

Occupational hazards, like inhaling dust and exposure to chemicals, can raise the risk of lung and bladder cancer. Lung cancer is likely to develop due to prolonged inhalation of silica, asbestos, and wood dust. Bladder cancer is linked to exposure to certain organic chemicals present in construction sites.

Construction workers may also contract the rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause, stemming from its widespread use in building materials until recent decades.

Outdoor workers in construction face a higher risk of developing skin cancer because of their constant exposure to the sun.

Preventive measures and safety protocols

In New York, construction firms must follow safety protocols to minimize exposure to known carcinogens. According to these protocols, employers should advocate for regular health screenings. This allows for early detection of cancer. Additionally, they must enforce proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Though these regulations protect workers it is important to encourage education alongside them. Workers should know about the hazards they face and the importance of safety compliance.

Legal protections and worker rights in New York

If you or someone you love develops cancer due to unsafe conditions at a construction site there are several avenues you can explore in response.

Compensation is available for those diagnosed with cancer linked to their job environment. This can cover both medical expenses and lost wages

New York labor laws also require employers to provide a safe working environment, and failure to do so can lead to legal action. If this right is violated, workers can seek legal recourse if they can prove that negligence on the part of the employer contributed to their condition.

Advocating for safer work environments

Construction workers and their employers must understand the link between construction work and increased cancer risk. Doing so highlights the need for continuous improvement in workplace safety standards. Enforcing construction safety protects construction workers from preventable cancers. Together, workers and employers can create safer construction sites that minimize health risks.


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