Falling objects at construction sites can cause serious injuries to workers and unsuspecting passersby. A falling object, such as a tool, equipment, or other material, can cause severe injuries and death. Injuries caused by falling objects on construction sites are preventable and often happen because of carelessness, defective machinery, lack of safety equipment, and other forms of negligence.
If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a construction accident caused by falling objects, you may be entitled to compensation. Victims can pursue a legal claim for their past and future medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. Contact CDH Law PLLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.
The Hazards of Falling Objects at Construction Sites
Falling objects are among the most dangerous types of construction accidents. Whether it’s a hammer or piece of concrete, dropping an object off of a roof or scaffolding can cause brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), getting struck by a falling object is one of the leading causes of death for many groups of people:
- Construction workers
- First-line supervisors
Not all falling object injuries include materials dropped off a building’s roof. Renovations, demolitions, and tear-outs can result in building materials falling from walls or ceilings onto construction workers. For example, construction workers can be injured by falling beams being dismantled from the side of the building.
Many Construction Accidents Involving Falling Objects Are Caused By Negligence
Falling object accidents on construction sites are preventable with the right safety equipment and procedures. Alongside preventing falls, OSHA requires construction workers and employers to prevent falling objects using tethers, safety nets, and canopies. When construction company owners fail to use reasonable care to keep their employees safe and an accident occurs, the victim can pursue compensation from the company.
Safety nets, tethers, and hard hats aren’t just luxuries; they’re necessary for employers to prevent falling objects from injuring people. Falling equipment, tools, and construction materials are preventable when workers and employers put each other’s safety first. Unfortunately, many construction companies put profits before safety, putting construction workers and pedestrians at a higher risk of serious injuries. Examples of injuries caused by construction accidents include the following:
- Securing all tools that weigh over five pounds with a tether to an anchor point
- Providing construction workers with lanyards and attachment points that allow them to use tools while preventing them from falling off roofs
- Installing safety nets around drop areas to prevent tools from falling on people below
- Ensuring safety devices are properly set up and designed to work together
- Using covered chutes to remove construction work materials from roofs
- Ensuring workers understand how to safely move their materials without dropping them
Managers Should Provide Safety Equipment to Prevent Falling Debris
Construction site managers need to make sure their workers have all of the safety equipment they need to prevent injuries, including the following:
- Materials over guardrails and scaffolding
- Screens to catch falling debris
- Self-vulcanizing tape
- Tool cinches for harnesses
- Debris nets
- Toe boards
- Personal protective equipment, such as hard hats
Workers and managers should check load ratings to determine how a piece of equipment or tool is securely attached to a person or another stable anchor point. When an object isn’t in use, it should be secured to a stable location to prevent it from falling. Taking preventative steps can help protect pedestrians and construction workers from falling debris, allowing construction workers to perform their duties well and make a safer construction area.
Failure to Warn Passersby of Danger
Passersby can become injured when construction companies don’t effectively warn them of danger. Warning signs and proper barricade placement can prevent injuries and even save lives. When construction companies fail to prevent or warn passersby of potentially hazardous conditions, they can be held accountable for injuries. Although accidents can still occur, safety measures can help prevent injuries, even if an object does fall from the sky.
Injuries Caused By Falling Debris
When objects fall from great heights, they can cause serious injuries, even if the object itself isn’t heavy or large. Even the smallest of objects or tools can be dangerous because of physics. As a result, falling debris is one of the leading causes of construction injuries. Falling objects can strike any part of a person’s body, but a person’s head often takes the bulk of the blow from the falling object. When an object falls and hits someone on the head, they can suffer brain injuries ranging from mild concussions to permanent brain damage. The most common types of falling debris injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Back or neck injuries
Pursuing Compensation for Your Construction Injuries
As a falling debris accident victim at a construction site, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries. Your case’s value will depend on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries, and the facts leading up to your accident. Generally, the more severe and debilitating the victim’s injuries, the more compensation he or she can obtain. There are three main categories of damages you can seek: medical bills, pain, and suffering, and lost income.
Each of these types of compensation can include past expenses and future expenses related to your injuries. For example, suppose you have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to being hit on the head by a falling construction tool. You may have already been to rehabilitation, but need ongoing treatment. You can pursue compensation for your past and future medical expenses, such as occupational therapy, doctor’s visits, and more. If you cannot work because of your injuries, you can also pursue compensation for your lost earning capacity.
Contact a Syracuse Personal Injury Attorney
Has falling debris injured you at a construction site in Syracuse, New York? The experienced personal injury attorneys at CDH Law PLLC are here to help. After carefully reviewing your case, we will help you understand your legal options. Contact the skilled attorneys at CDH Law PLLC to learn more.