Construction workers have to check their surroundings constantly to avoid injuries on a job site, and that includes keeping an eye on the sky. Falling debris during construction or demolition is a major cause of struck-by accidents in construction work, as even the smallest object dropped from a height can cause serious injury and even death.
Tools and Building Materials Are Common Causes of Debris Injuries
While any item on a construction site has the potential to cause injury, falling object accidents most commonly occur as a result of human error. When these injuries occur, owners, contractors, and subcontractors may be held liable for a worker’s medical bills and lost income related to the accident.
Types of Falling Objects That Cause Construction Injuries
Dropped hammers, paint buckets, power tools, or even nails and bolts a can cause serious injury or death if they strike a worker.
Bricks and cinder blocks may fall as a result of kicking loose bricks, leaning against an unfinished wall, or improper pushing or pulling that causes a pallet to spill.
Large or unwieldy pieces of metal (such as railings, rebar, or fittings) may be difficult to carry and slip out of a worker’s grip.
Wind speeds increase along with each story of a building, and unsecured pieces of sheet metal, plywood, and ductwork may become airborne.
Objects that have not been properly loaded or tied down may fall from a crane or lift, such as support beams, wires and cables, plumbing fixtures, walls, loaded pallets, and other building components.
Heavy bagged items such as concrete mix, aggregate, sand, soil, fertilizer, or loose gravel should be stored below waist-height to reduce falling risks.
Workers on incomplete floors must be careful when operating machinery, as cut materials and discharged items may fall through hatches below.
Heavy items may break scaffolding or fall through unstable floors, striking the heads and limbs of workers below. If the structure falls down unintentionally, workers may be struck by scaffolds and railings or crushed under building components.
Construction Workers May Be Severely Injured by Falling Debris
It is a horrible truth that many construction injuries will cost far more than the amount provided by workers' compensation. Fortunately, construction employees in New York City have the ability to pursue a third-party claim for injuries caused by falling objects. In many cases, the property owner, contractor, or maker of a defective product can be held liable for the construction worker’s suffering and permanent disability.
Falling Objects Can Cause A Wide Range of Injuries
A worker can suffer a traumatic brain injury as a result of being hit on the head on a construction site even when wearing a hard hat.
Spinal Cord Injuries
If a dropped object strikes a worker’s neck or back, the trauma to the spine can cause the permanent inability to move his or her limbs.
Sharp metal objects may cause deep gashes in the skin, while falling windows or skylights can cause hundreds of small cuts that lead to lifelong scarring.
Head trauma and direct impact to a worker’s eyes can result in temporary or permanent blindness, including the loss of one or both eyes.
Even if a worker is able to recover from a bone fracture, these injuries can cause physical restrictions or osteoarthritis that prematurely ends the employee’s career.
Unfortunately, a hard impact with a heavy object will often prove fatal for a worker.
Have You Been Injured While Working On A Construction Site?
If you've been hurt while working at your construction job you need to speak with an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our New York City law office directly at 212.465.8840 to schedule your free consultation.
You can also read through our FREE brochure, Hurt in a Construction Accident? You’re Not Alone.