An employee of a bed frame company suffered devastating injuries in a workplace accident after being struck by a collapsed load. Based on a news article in nbcnewyork.com, the incident happened in New Jersey at the company’s location on Commercial Avenue in Carlstadt.
The victim was struck by a falling 4,000-pound load of steel that crushed him below his waist. Emergency responders rushed to free the injured man. Officials say that while the victim managed to stay conscious as the steel was lifted off of him, he is likely to lose both his legs. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) representatives are investigating the incident. According to the news report, a preliminary investigation found the load fell while a machine was moving it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to this grievously injured worker and his family.
Dangers of Falling Objects
At worksites, the risk of an object that may fall and cause injury usually exists when an individual is present under a crane, scaffold or in the vicinity of overhead work activity.
Also, objects may get launched or become airborne and pose a hazard when work such as pulling, pushing and/or prying is being performed, especially when power tools are being used.
OSHA states that being struck-by objects is a leading cause of construction-related fatalities. About 75 percent of struck-by deaths are estimated to involve heavy equipment such as trucks or cranes. While struck-by accidents may happen due to a number of reasons, most of the injury incidents involve being struck by vehicles, or falling/flying objects or masonry walls. Also compared to other occupations, construction activity accounts for the most number of “struck by vehicle” fatalities.
Struck-By Accidents Are Preventable
Employers, company owners and/or managers are responsible for the safety of their staff by creating and maintaining a workspace or site that is free from hazards. In this catastrophic injury incident, the victim was struck by a load of steel that had fallen. Employers are required to protect workers from such types of accidents and from being hit by any objects while they are on the job. Any potential risks or hazards that exist at a job site can be minimized or prevented by having control measures in place. Employers and supervisors at the site must ensure that the site is inspected before work commences and also that the required safety measures are being followed.
Further, struck-by dangers at the worksite may be reduced by following steps such as:
• Wearing hardhats and using safety goggles, face shields, etc.
• Posting warning signs and closing off or securing hazard zones.
• Using toeboards, guardrails, debris nets, canopies etc. to prevent falling objects and/or to catch them.
• Inspecting tools and ensuring they have protective guards in place.
• Inspecting and securing stacked objects so they do not slide or collapse.
• Securing work tools and other material, especially when working at elevations, so they do not fall below.
• Inspecting cranes, hoists and other associated components and ensuring its load capacity is not exceeded.
Work Accident Related Injuries
Struck-by accident victims may suffer severe injuries such as multiple broken bones, amputations, head or traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, impalement injuries, internal organ injuries, etc. A victim who suffers catastrophic injuries such as a loss of a limb or an amputation faces significant medical expenses including the cost of prosthetics.
Injured workers may lose a considerable amount of wages as well as their capacity to earn what they used to before they were injured. Such accidents tend to shatter the lives of not just the injured worker who may no longer be able to earn a future livelihood, but also his or her family. In the case of an on-the-job death, the family may lose their primary wage earner.
How a Construction Accident Attorney Can Help
A victim who has been injured while on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which should cover medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. In addition, he or she may be eligible to file a third-party claim against a negligent party other than the employer or a co-employee for significant monetary damages and have two sources of compensation available for their losses. Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents etc.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com
If you found this article useful, please share it!