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Construction Accidents Involving Cement and Concrete

A construction worker pouring a wet concrete at construction site.

Cement is found on just about every construction site across Texas. It forms the foundation of concrete floors and walls in various structures, driveways, and sidewalks. Additionally, cement is a crucial component in the mixture of mortar and grout for bricklaying and tiling. The widespread use of cement and concrete in residential and commercial construction projects might cause employers and workers to underestimate its potential hazards. This can lead to serious construction accidents and injuries caused by exposure.

Hazards associated with handling cement and concrete

The two types of dangers associated with handling cement and concrete include exposure risks and work accidents. These hazards can lead to serious long-term health conditions or serious injuries. Here's the breakdown of both hazards:

Exposure risks

The most common exposure risks of handling concrete and cement include:

  • Eye injuries/blindness: Without adequate eye protection, cement particles can enter the eyes. This can lead to severe eye injuries or blindness. Limited exposure may lead to treatable injuries, but significant contact can cause irreversible harm.
  • Inhalation injuries: Inhalation of cement dust can severely damage the respiratory system, especially the lungs. This can lead to lung cancer and silicosis among construction workers exposed to high amounts of dust.
  • Severe burns: Due to the material's hazardous nature, exposure to cement can result in serious burns, including third-degree burns. These can potentially lead to permanent injury or death.

Accident risks

The most common accident risks include:

  • Injuries from lifting: Lifting concrete and cement can lead to serious injuries. This may include spinal cord injuries, fractures, permanent nerve system trauma, loss of use of a limb, or amputation. In severe cases, this can even lead to cardiac arrest or death.
  • Vehicle accidents: Trucks, forklifts, cranes, and hoists are commonly used in concrete construction. However, a lack of safety protocols can lead to accidents with these vehicles and heavy machinery, which can cause a wide range of injuries, from whiplash to crush injuries and amputations.
  • Blow-outs: Using forms or molds in concrete projects can lead to dangerous "blow-outs" if these structures fail. The impact of liquid concrete or the collapse of surrounding structures can potentially cause injury or death, highlighting the importance of safety measures and proper equipment use during construction.

Who is responsible for construction accidents involving cement and concrete?

Determining liability in construction accidents that involve concrete and cement requires a thorough investigation. The responsible parties may include:

  • Employers and contractors have a primary responsibility to ensure a safe working environment. This includes providing proper training, safety equipment, and adhering to safety protocols. If they fail in these duties, they can be held liable for any resulting injuries.
  • Subcontractors: If a subcontractor is specifically involved in the concrete work and their negligence leads to someone's injury, they can also be held liable. Like primary contractors, subcontractors must adhere to safety standards and regulations.
  • Manufacturers of equipment and materials: If an injury was caused by defective equipment or materials (e.g., faulty concrete mixers, improperly formulated concrete), the manufacturers of these products could be held responsible.
  • Property owners: Property owners might be liable if the conditions on a property contributed to an injury, especially if they failed to warn the construction company or workers about known hazards.
  • Construction site managers: Site managers are responsible for overseeing the safety of a construction site. If they neglect this duty and it leads to an injury, they can be found liable.
  • Engineers and architects: If an injury is caused by a structural failure related to the project's design, the engineers or architects involved in the project might be liable.

Our San Antonio law firm fights for the rights of injured construction workers

At the Herrera Law Firm, our San Antonio construction accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured workers fight for the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses. We understand the serious nature of cement and concrete exposure and accidents. And we're here to offer legal help so you understand your rights and potential options for seeking compensation.

With decades of experience handling construction accident cases, we understand what it takes to hold negligent parties accountable and get justice for our clients. Contact us today to set up your free consultation.

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