As a pedestrian walking around New York, you will inevitably find yourself near a construction site of some kind: new buildings, repairs or remodels of existing structures, housing developments, and so on. In these areas, numerous hazards and dangers present themselves.
You need to watch out as you navigate, and enjoy your walk safely. So, what kind of dangers are you looking out for?
Watch Out for Falling Objects!
Perhaps the greatest single danger to pedestrians around construction sites is falling objects, including tools and building materials. Most construction projects include work at elevation, especially for new buildings or external repairs to existing structures. It only takes one careless slip of a construction worker’s hand for a hammer to come crashing down on your head.
As a pedestrian, make sure you look up at work being done above you and pass under any kind of construction zone quickly.
Tripping and Falling Hazards
While you’re looking up to make sure nothing falls on you from above, don’t forget to watch your step—beware of objects littering the sidewalk. Construction crews often set materials or tools on the sidewalk while they’re working. Construction can also create potholes or similar damage to the sidewalk, which you should avoid to stay safe.
If you’re not careful, that cement block could collide painfully with your shin, and then you’ll face-plant in the rebar. That would hurt; and if the rebar goes through your eye, there will be some pretty serious medical bills and long-term effects.
“Falling” is one of the biggest causes of injury in the U.S., and can be especially dangerous for the elderly. So be careful!
Distractions and Other Risks
Here are two sneaky risks to “watch” for in construction zones: the noises…and the distraction.
Loud noises make it difficult to hear traffic or emergency vehicles, so it is important to always be aware of your surroundings as you move about. A pedestrian can be so busy watching out for falling tools and potholes that he never notices another danger. You still need to watch for cars while stepping off a curb, and not bang into other people.
If you or someone you know fell on a construction site, call the experienced personal injury lawyers of Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, at (212) 986-7353. Tell us about your case and we can discuss your options.