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Construction work in Illinois can provide a steady career and allow enough flexibility to pursue relationships important to you. However, it can also put you in harm’s way with some of the most dangerous risks of any career.

When you know the common risks of working as a construction worker, you can pay more attention to avoiding them. Your diligence in following safety protocols and staying educated could save your life.

Falls

Many construction jobs will require you to work at height. Whether you operate heavy machinery high off the ground, work atop scaffolding or lay shingles on a roof, falling from any height could have detrimental consequences. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls continue to cause the highest number of fatal injuries in the construction industry.

Collapses

Another common hazard is the prevalence of collapse. Some jobs might require you to work in a trench or tunnel to assist with aspects of excavation and construction. A shift in material, a poorly designed project and carelessness are just some of the reasons a collapse could happen. This could cause suffocation and life-altering injuries.

Airborne pathogens

A lesser-known risk of construction work is the likelihood of exposure to airborne pathogens. Asbestos, for example, could rapidly increase your risk of developing cancer and other life-threatening health conditions. Consistent exposure to dust and debris can also impact your respiratory health.

You can improve your safety when you take a proactive approach to following the rules. Always wear protective equipment. Collaborate with your employer to learn about how to respond to an emergency and what your options are for reporting safety concerns. These steps can help you stay safer on the job and could increase your productivity as well.

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