Schemery Zicolello

Construction workers face multiple health hazards

Construction workers provide a valuable and necessary service to many Pennsylvania communities. Without construction workers necessary building and road repairs would go unfinished, and new construction would be difficult. While their work is necessary, construction workers often face a variety of health hazards on the job. These hazards can lead to work-related illnesses and injuries to workers.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction workers face three main types of hazards -- biological, physical and chemical. Biological hazards include the danger of bacteria, infectious animals, poisonous plants and mold. On the other hand, physical hazards include issues with repetitive motion, dangerous temperatures and noise. Finally, chemical hazards are those dangers created by fumes, dusts, gasses and vapors found on job sites.

These hazards can be created by a variety of different sources. Older buildings, for example, might contain mold or asbestos. Unsanitary conditions within a home can also pose similar hazards. Confined spaces can cause problems with gasses or vapors while tools can create loud noises.

OSHA says that construction workers must learn to recognize these dangers and take steps to protect themselves. By using their senses, certain hazards can be detected -- like the danger from loud noises or extreme temperatures.

There are several steps that can be undertaken to mitigate these hazards and prevent workplace accidents. These include eliminating the hazard by substituting a safer alternative. If this is not possible, it may be possible to create a solution to the hazard to reduce its risk. For example, extra ventilation can be installed. Additionally, administrative solutions -- like scheduling extra breaks -- may be able to reduce risks to construction workers. Personal protective equipment can also be employed to reduce risks.

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Commonwealth v. Candice Steinbacher – Motion for Judgement Acquittal Granted

Motion for Judgment of Acquittal for a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) prosecution was granted by Lycoming County President Judge Nancy L. Butts, after Attorney Kyle Rude argues that the Commonwealth could not prove Ms. Steinbacher was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle. Ms. Steinbacher was arrested after Williamsport City Police believed she switched seats with her boyfriend in order to avoid an arrest for DUI.

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