Construction workers face numerous hazards on the job, many of which are a byproduct of working at a significant elevation. People fall, which can have tragic consequences. It is also very easy for objects to fall at a construction site.
Properly using tethers for tools and other safety devices can seem repetitive and time-consuming, meaning that workers may fail to prioritize taking those extra steps or employers overlook safety violations because they improve efficiency. Sometimes, it is improper scaffolding or low-quality safety equipment that contributes to tools or materials for a construction project falling and hurting a worker. Although it may seem like a very unusual circumstance, it is actually a leading cause of construction worker injury and death.
Falling objects can cause severe injury
Regularly working at a significant elevation may make people dismissive of the risks, as they could spend hundreds of days on a construction site and never witness an incident where someone or something falls. Complacency is the enemy of safety on a construction site. Professionals who don’t recognize the risk inherent in working at a significant elevation or near others at an elevation could very easily end up hurt.
In 2019, the most recent year with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 90 construction worker fatalities caused by a worker getting struck by an object other than a vehicle. Many of those situations involved falling objects dropped from above. There were approximately 16,600 worker injuries reported related to struck-by incidents.
Falling objects often lead to lawsuits
Given that basic safety efforts could reasonably prevent most scenarios in which tools or materials fall and injure someone below, the people affected by such situations often have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party. Property owners could be responsible, as could construction firms if the person hurt is not a professional who works for the company but rather an employee of a different organization or a passerby who just happened to be in the wrong place when something fell. Any gravity-related incident may open up property owners and the companies that they hire to liability under New York law.
For someone who develops a brain injury or other lasting medical consequence following a falling object incident at a construction site, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit could be the best option available, even if workers’ compensation benefits can be claimed as well.