Falling Object Injuries at Construction/Demolition Sites
Construction sites are among the most hazardous of all work environments. Many injuries occur on the ground, such as when a worker trips over a slat of wood or a tool. Another significant culprit that can cause terrible injury to a worker is the falling object. Add to this the high level of volatility present during demolition, and the construction area is a place of danger, indeed.
Falling object injuries occur when a piece of equipment or building material is jarred loose or is left unsecured at some distance above workers. Any motion may then send it reeling through the air to the ground. Or on top of a worker.
Depending upon the size of the material and the height from which it is dropped, the result can be anything from a few cuts and scrapes to permanent injury, and even death. While a New York construction injury lawyer can often help an injury victim recover monetary damages, the injury remains.
What Causes Falling Objects?
Construction workers in many cases perform tasks on beams or scaffolding high above the ground. Even a solitary bolt accidentally kicked off a ledge can be lethal if it falls from a high rise. A crane accident in February at the site of construction of the new World Trade Center caused a load of steel beams to fall 40 stories onto a pickup truck. Fortunately no workers were in the area below at the time; terrible carnage surely would have been the result.
When demolition is used to move earth or raze an existing structure, the dangers are multiplied. While demolition experts are trained in methods that will minimize the hazards of a controlled explosion, no amount of preparation can guarantee safety if workers are present. An explosion causes material to fly out from the source with tremendous force. If an individual stands carelessly near, catastrophic injuries can occur.
While it may be impossible to prevent injuries from falling objects altogether, certain factors tend to aggravate the problem. Often construction jobs are on a tight schedule for completion. When meeting deadlines becomes more important than ensuring worker safety, the site is compromised. Coworker mistakes, minimal or non-existent training, poor lighting, and inclement weather are also issues which increase risks.
While contractors, managers, and owners are often held liable under New York Labor Law 240, safety from falling objects is really the domain of everyone at or involved with the construction project.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a New York personal injury accident, the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Please contact us at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5486) for a free and comprehensive consultation. 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.