A lot of labor done by working-class Americans today involves physical labor and working with various tools and materials, but these jobs offer a higher than average risk of injury or other harm while working on the job, so naturally, these workers must take all precautions while they are working with certain materials and tools. Construction workers, for example, face a lot of hazards while they are on the job, and workers at other sites such as factories or mines face other dangers as well. Even crews who work for renovating or repairing homes or public buildings may face some dangers on the job, and these workers should always have the right gear and sensible work practices to make sure that no one comes to harm. How can this be done?
Injuries and Issues
Just what kind of problems face workers today? Often, those who work for construction or renovating a home face breathing issues, such as dangerous fumes, gases, or airborne particles that can harm the lungs. A 2017 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, for example, found that over half of all construction workers, some 51.8% of them, were diagnosed with moderate pulmonary restriction. It doesn’t stop there; about 4.7% of those cases were obstructive, which can be a real health hazard. Respirable crystalline silica, for example, are very fine particles 100 times smaller than regular sand grains, and they are generated at a workplace during cutting, sawing, crushing stone or rock, or when working with bricks. At the workplace, falling is another issue that workers face, and many are killed per year from accidental falls due to slipping or a lack of guard rails. Workers may also be harmed when exposed to open flames or hot metals, or if items fall on them or when vehicles run them over. The property itself may be damaged, too, when certain glues, paint or paint thinner, caulk, or other materials get onto surfaces where they are not meant to go, and this can slow down a project while the damage is being fixed. This can cost both money and time, something that no crew wants. The good news is that protective materials and gear like paper, window film, floor protection paper, carpet shield arrays, and more are out there to keep accidents from happening.
Protective Paper, Masks, and More
Workers and their finished materials alike can be kept safe from harm during work when the right protective material is put in place and when tools and materials are used as intended. For example, workers who expect to be exposed to harmful fumes or particles are urged to wear eye protection (to prevent irritation) and mouth guards like gas masks or respirators so that harmful materials do not get into the lungs through the nose or mouth. Even applying spray foam insulation calls for breathing protection, as spray foam chemicals give off harmful chemical gases that can harm people. Workers should also wear brightly colored, industry-approved vests, shirts, hard hats, or reflective strips of tape on their pants so that they are easier to see, especially in rain or low lighting levels. This can reduce rates of hitting workers with backhoes or moving vehicles.
Paper, plastic, rubber, and more can be used to protect the surfaces from construction materials, especially in a project’s later stages when delicate materials like carpets, windows, drywall, and more are already in place. Such materials can also be used during renovation or remodeling of a home or building, which already has all of its surfaces like carpets and glass completed. For example, while crews are using paint and paint thinner on walls or a ceiling, paper can be spread across the carpet and taped in place so that it does not slide around and expose surfaces to paint or paint thinner during work. The same is true for windows; window shields can be used to keep paint, caulk, or glue from getting onto wooden window frames or on the glass itself. If these surfaces are exposed to such materials, this can cost money and time to remove and replace the ruined surfaces, and what is more, carpet may be exposed to unsafe amounts of particles like silica, dirt, or plaster dust during work.