One of the most common, yet often overlooked, risks on a New York City construction site is that of falling objects. Even small items like stray bolts can become deadly projectiles when dropped from a height, posing a significant threat to the safety of workers on the ground. Understanding the potential dangers and how to mitigate them is crucial in maintaining a safe working environment free of construction accidents.
In the busy environment of a New York City construction site, falling object accidents can occur in numerous ways. With multi-level structures being a common feature, tools or materials can be knocked off edges or fall out of unsecured containers. Additionally, improper use or failure of lifting and rigging equipment can result in loads being dropped unexpectedly. To keep the risk of a falling object accident to a minimum, every worker, foreman, and anyone else connected to the job-site should be aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions.
Tips to Help Avoid Falling Object Injuries
The risk of falling objects is a reality on any construction site, not just those involving high-rise buildings or multi-story projects. Anytime someone is working above another person, there's a potential for an object to fall, creating a hazard that can lead to serious injury or even death. Therefore, it's crucial to understand and implement safety measures to mitigate these risks.
Five important tips to help prevent falling object accidents on NYC construction sites include:
- Use tool lanyards: Tool lanyards can prevent tools from falling when they're used at height. These lanyards attach the tool to the worker, catching it if it slips from the worker's grip.
- Install toe boards: Toe boards are barriers placed along the edge of a surface where work is being performed, especially along scaffolding or raised catwalks. They stop tools and other objects from being kicked or knocked over the edge.
- Implement netting systems: Safety netting can be installed below work areas to catch falling objects. This can prevent objects from reaching the ground and causing injury.
- Secure loose materials: Always ensure materials are securely stored, especially when they're located at height. Unsecured materials can easily become falling hazards.
- Promote the use of hard hats: Hard hats are a simple yet effective way to protect workers from falling objects. Encouraging their use at all times can significantly reduce the risk of head injuries. If a construction firm or property manager does not provide all workers with hard hats, it should at least insist on all workers bringing their own hard hats before starting work for the day.
How Serious Are Falling Object Injuries?
Falling object injuries on construction sites are a significant concern, as they can result in serious harm and even prove fatal. The severity of injuries from falling objects is often underestimated. Even small objects, when dropped from a significant height, can cause a fatal injury. The most common injuries include fractures and severe bruising. However, more serious consequences can range from concussions and brain damage to permanent disabilities.
Can Construction Workers File Injury Claims for These Accidents?
If a construction worker in New York City is injured by a falling object, they have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. It's important to note that many construction workers in NYC don't have workers' compensation, so they must pursue compensation through an injury claim that seeks to prove liability.
The process of filing an injury claim should begin immediately after the accident. The injured worker should seek medical attention right away, ensuring all injuries are documented by a healthcare professional. Following this, the worker should report the injury to their employer, as there are often strict time limits for reporting an occupational injury, typically within 30 days.
The next step involves gathering evidence to support the claim. This might include photographs of the site and the object that caused the injury, witness statements, and any available surveillance footage. It's also crucial to keep a record of medical treatments, associated costs, and any lost earnings due to the injury.
Call Keith Silverstein & Associates Today
At Keith Silverstein & Associates, we have built a law firm designed to represent injured construction workers from all five boroughs of New York City. We can guide you through the complex process of filing an injury claim by gathering crucial evidence, navigating legal procedures, and advocating for your rights to compensation when workers’ comp benefits aren’t available. We have a long track record of success, including a $6 million victory for a construction worker who fell off an unsecured ladder. Trust your case to us because so much depends on its outcome.