Given the nature of their work, construction workers who work outdoors are routinely exposed to physical and biological hazards. Therefore, it is important that these workers have taken the necessary training classes to ensure that they remain safe in the face of these hazards.
Biological Hazards Facing Construction Workers
Perhaps the most common type of hazard that workers are vulnerable to is vector-borne diseases. In short, this is an illness that is caused when an infected host transmits a disease to a person through the blood. Routinely caused by blood sucking arthropods like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, a vector-borne disease can also be transferred from birds, rodents, and larger animals. Additionally, construction workers are also vulnerable to venomous animals and insects. Depending on where the worker is employed, they may be more likely to be bitten by a venomous snake or a spider. Venomous threats include wasps, bees, hornets, hobo spiders, rattlesnakes, and coral snakes. In addition to the threat of insects and animals, construction workers are also vulnerable to poisonous plants like poison ivy and poison oak. When a person comes into contact with one of these plants it can burn their skin and leave a dangerous infection. A person who works in California, Washington, or Oregon are particularly vulnerable to developing lung and breathing problems that are associated with poison oak.
How to Confront the Threat of Biological Hazards
It is crucial that every construction worker know if they are allergic to a venomous sting and take any necessary precautions. Additionally, every job site should be equipped with the necessary safety and emergency equipment like an EpiPen and an Automatic External Defibrillator. In addition, when working with dangerous chemicals all construction workers should be wearing the necessary safety equipment like protective suits, gloves, and eye gear. In order to protect the rights of workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was enacted to ensure that employees are not seriously injured or killed while on the job site. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for ensuring that businesses meet the workplace safety standards that have been outlined in the legislation. Perhaps most importantly, all employees should be given ongoing training on how to avoid biological hazards and what to do in an emergency situation. Training should be given when a person is hired and throughout the course of their employment.