Workers across a wide range of occupations can be injured by unsecured items, tools and equipment. Workplace accidents involving falling debris often occur in construction, warehousing, the car industry and manufacturing.
They usually happen when:
- Scaffolding and ladders aren't properly secured on construction sites
- Hand tools and building materials aren't properly secured or stored. This may include:
- Power tools
- Nails, screws and bolts
- Bricks and concrete
- Loose items and boxes on racks and shelves
- Workers fails to use caution when handling items or tools from heights
- Improper assembly of storage racks
Common injuries linked to falling debris
Injuries caused by falling debris can be severe and generally include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Lacerations and bruises
- Soft tissue injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Puncture wounds
- Facial injuries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 278 workers across the United States lost their lives due to being struck by falling objects or equipment in 2018. That's about a 17 percent increase from the 237 deaths in 2017.
Deaths linked to being struck by objects accounted for 112 construction fatalities (11.1 percent of all construction fatalities) during 2018. This type of accident is one of the construction "Fatal Four," according to OSHA. While construction hardhats may provide some protection to workers, heavier objects or objects that fall from the top of buildings can lead to serious injuries or fatalities.
Prevention measures workers should take
Workplace accidents involving falling debris can be prevented when workers are properly trained on these important safety procedures:
- Keep tools properly secured in a tool box or holster when not in use.
- Place all boxed items on pallets and ensure that they are tightly wrapped in place.
- Tightly secure and store all building materials when not in use.
- Keep power tools turned off and properly stored when not in use.
- Double check that all ladders and scaffolds are sturdy and properly assembled before use.
Your legal rights after a workplace injury
If you were injured after being struck by falling debris or other objects, your injuries may be serious enough to leave you out of work for months or years. You may be wondering how you will be able to afford to pay your costly medical bills and make ends meet while you're unable to work. The good news is, you may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, which would reimburse you for these losses if your injury happened within the scope of your employment.
Getting workers' compensation isn't easy and requires the help of an experienced attorney who understands how the system works. The legal team at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP Attorneys At Law can help guide you through this complex process and advocate for a fair financial settlement.
We serve clients in New York City and throughout New York State. We also operate on a contingency fee basis, so you don't pay unless we win your case. Contact us online to find out how we can help you.