Workers' Comp For Injuries Due To Contact With Objects and Equipment
Contact with objects is a leading cause of work-related deaths
One of the most common workplace injuries involves being struck by an object. Often referred to as "contact with objects and equipment" injuries by workplace safety experts, struck by an object accidents can be serious and sometimes even fatal.
When workplace accidents happen, injured workers need to understand their rights. In most cases, injured workers are eligible to receive workers' compensation benefits. However, getting the benefits you rightfully deserve can sometimes be challenging.
Our New York workers' compensation attorneys at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP understand how the system works. Our legal team has been helping injured workers demand the money they deserve for decades.
Understanding struck-by hazards
The phrase "contact with objects and equipment" is a term used by workplace safety experts to describe workplace accidents involving injuries caused by objects hitting or striking someone. These accidents can cover a wide range, including:
- Falling objects hitting a worker, especially objects falling off a roof or scaffolding.
- Being struck by collapsing equipment, including a collapsing building or falling scaffolding.
- Moving objects striking a worker.
- Equipment or machinery hitting a worker, including being hit by a forklift, backhoe, or other construction equipment.
- Being caught in between equipment and being crushed or struck by objects.
- Being crushed, compressed, or squeezed between equipment at work.
Injury facts and statistics
Struck-by accidents are historically among the most common workplace accidents, according to workplace injury data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Overall, injuries and fatalities from coming in contact with objects or equipment at work are the third-leading cause of workplace fatalities and the fourth-leading cause of non-fatal workplace injuries that result in days off work, according to the National Safety Council.
Specifically, workplace accidents involving being struck by an object or coming into contact with equipment resulted in 705 workplace fatalities in 2021 and 196,140 workplace injuries in 2020, per the NSC. An average of 227,609 workers annually sustain an injury on the job due to being struck by an object, according to BLS data from 2011 to 2020.
Which workers are most at risk of being struck by an object?
Certain jobs put workers at a higher risk of being struck by an object or equipment. According to the NSC, the industries with the highest risk include:
- Service industry – 65 percent of work-related injuries
- Goods-producing industry – 35 percent of workplace injuries.
- Manufacturing industry – 20 percent of injuries.
- Retail industry – 16 percent of injuries.
- Construction industry – 11 percent injuries.
- Transportation and warehouse industry – 11 percent of injuries.
Injuries are often severe
According to BLS data, the most common workplace injuries from coming in contact with an object or equipment include three main categories:
- Upper extremity injuries, primarily the hand (48 percent of contact with an object injuries)
- Lower extremity injuries, primarily the foot (26 percent)
- Head injuries (18 percent)
More specific types of injuries include:
- Cuts and lacerations – 26 percent of struck by an object or equipment injuries, resulting in 51,920 injuries in 2020.
- Bruises and contusions – 16 percent of contact with an object injuries, 31,380 injuries in 2020.
- Severe pain and soreness – 12 percent of injuries, 24,050 accidents in 2020.
- Bone fractures – 12 percent of injuries or 24,020 total injuries in 2020.
- Muscle sprains, strains, and tears – 7 percent of injuries or 13,950 total in 2020.
Common causes of struck-by accidents
Many struck-by accidents occur due to unsafe working conditions, often due to employer negligence. Examples include:
- Failure to provide safety equipment to workers.
- Not providing safety training for employees.
- Lack of safety inspections designed to identify dangerous workplace conditions.
- Understaffing at work, resulting in workers not conducting safety inspections or taking other precautions that result in workplace accidents.
How can employers prevent contact with object accidents?
Employers need to create a workplace culture that values safety and makes preventing workplace accidents a priority by:
- Providing workplace safety training to employees.
- Regularly inspecting workplaces to make sure that working conditions are safe.
- Correcting hazardous workplace conditions immediately before someone gets hurt.
- Providing appropriate safety equipment to workers, including hard hats and safety goggles.
- Hiring enough workers so workplaces are not understaffed and unsafe.
- Reporting and documenting workplace accidents so similar incidents do not occur in the future.
Seeking legal help after a work accident
Suffering an injury on the job can be a traumatic experience, but you don't have to navigate the aftermath alone. When you've been injured due to contact with equipment or being struck by an object at work in New York, seeking legal help can be crucial to protecting your rights and maximizing your compensation.
At Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP, our highly skilled attorneys have been advocating for injured workers in New York for decades. Our team of dedicated workers' compensation lawyers understands the challenges individuals and their loved ones face after a workplace accident involving equipment or object contact.
Schedule a free consultation today to discuss your case and explore your potential legal options. We have 12 offices in New York, including five in New York City.
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