Hazards of Rust
Many metals when exposed to air and moisture undergo a process called oxidation which results in rust. This is actually a form of decay of the metal. In addition to the potential for this process to weaken the metal and cause injuries, rust when directly involved in a cut or scrape can cause any number of complications.
When a metal goes through oxidation, a chemical reaction is occurring. This reaction results in the orange-colored substance on the surface of the metal object. This process is actually the air eating away at the metal which weakens it. When it weakens, it is unable to support the load it was previously able to support. If the load becomes too heavy for the rusted bolt or support beam, the entire piece can collapse, resulting in serious injuries and great losses of property.
Another hazard of rust occurs when a piece of metal that has rusted cuts, scratches, punctures, or abrades a person’s skin. When this happens, any bacteria associated with rust have access to the blood stream. The most severe risk to a person’s health from stepping on something rusty is tetanus. Tetanus is a disease that may be fatal. It is caused by a specific type of bacteria that exists only in the most contaminated of environments. Rusty environments not only harbor the bacteria but frequently encourage its existence and activity.
In order to prevent rust-related injuries, any individual should take great care to inspect any metal exposed to the elements. Common threats include playgrounds, scaffolding, and nails that have been exposed during construction projects.
Contact a Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured by the collapse of a structure due to rust or received extensive treatments for tetanus or another rust-related disease, contact a Cincinnati personal injury attorney from Stepleton Dugan, LLC at 512-321-7733.