Construction sites in Texas are full of obvious hazards, true, but not all dangers are out in the open. Construction companies have just as much of an obligation to protect workers from environmental hazards as they do the more common ones such as falling from great heights and tripping over cords.

The National Association of Safety Professionals examines common environmental hazards for various industries. Each applies to the construction sector.

Biological hazards

Rather than outright construction, some jobs require demolition or refurbishment. In such instances, contaminated water and dust present dangers to workers. Without proper protective equipment and safety procedures, employees can contract various diseases or experience avoidable respiratory issues.

Chemical hazards

Various vapors, fumes, liquids and corrosives present chemical hazards on construction sites. Such chemical hazards are most dangerous when they come in contact with the skin or when workers either inhale or ingest them. Besides proper safety procedures and equipment, construction workers should be aware of the dangers such chemicals present in the first place. Proper labeling and employee training are essential.

Invisible hazards

Working out in the open comes with plenty of unseen hazards. Extreme cold and heat and unfiltered sunlight beaming down on unprotected skin create considerable risks for construction workers. Construction sites are not known for their silence, making proper protection essential to keep workers from losing their hearing.

Electrical hazards

On construction sites, it is vital to identify all live power cables and power lines, to keep workers from accidentally electrocuting themselves. Mishandling power tools and machinery can also lead to avoidable electrocution. This is another area in which proper training and safety procedures keep workers safe.

Ergonomic hazards

Joints and muscles become vulnerable during manual labor. Twisting the body into uncomfortable positions, handling heavy loads and reaching for objects in difficult-to-access places all have the potential to trigger injuries, some of which may be serious enough to derail a person’s career.