Rain, hail, and snow should be the only answer to the question “Is the sky falling?” But construction materials, tools, and equipment? They should stay on the ground, attached to workers’ belts, or away from high drops. A single falling object can severely injure a construction worker, even if he or she is wearing a hard hat. Yet these accidents can be prevented when employers utilize proper safety measures.
The Risk of Falling Objects at New York Construction Sites
Falling objects are one of the most serious types of construction accidents. Whether it is a piece of concrete or a hammer, dropping any object off a roof brings with it costly injuries. Workers should take steps to ensure their tools are secured to their belts or are attached to tethers, which can keep them from falling off a side of a building. Work materials should also be stored away from a building’s edge, and any heavy equipment should be secured to the ground on flat surfaces.
But falling objects do not just include materials that are dropped off a building’s roof. Demolitions, renovations, and tear outs present the risk of building materials falling from the ceiling or walls onto workers. In one case, we represented a construction worker who was struck by a falling beam while other workers were dismantling it from the side of the building. While we were able to recover significant compensation for him, this type of accident should never have occurred.
Preventing Workplace Accidents
The good news is that falling object accidents are preventable with the right equipment. Alongside preventing falls, OSHA also requires employers to prevent falling objects by using safety nets, tethers, and canopies, according to OSHA Regulation 1910.28. Employers can meet these requirements and protect workers by:
- Providing workers with lanyards and attachment points that allow them to use their tools while also keeping them from falling off roofs
- Securing all tools over five pounds to an anchor point with a tether
- Installing fall safety nets at drop areas
- Ensuring that a tether or safety net can hold falling material and checking weight limits
- Making sure safety devices are set up properly and designed to work together
- Making sure workers know how to safely move work materials without dropping them
- Utilizing covered shoots to remove work materials off of roofs
Getting Compensation for Your Falling Object Injuries
Hard hats, safety nets, tethers — these are not luxuries on a job site; they are necessary and basic steps that employers can take to prevent falling objects. Falling tools, equipment, or construction materials are 100% preventable when employers and workers put safety first. Unfortunately, when construction companies put profits first, it presents a high risk of workers suffering severe injuries due to falling objects, ranging from brain injuries to spinal cord damage.
If you or someone you love was injured due to a falling object, we encourage you to reach out to a New York construction accident lawyer at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP. We are dedicated personal injury lawyers who have spent decades investigating on-the-job injuries, collecting evidence of negligence, and advocating for injured workers to receive proper compensation. We know how dangerous New York construction sites are, but we also know the law is on your side. Call us today at (212) 986-7353 to get a free case evaluation and learn how we can fight for you.