The Threats of Falling Equipment In and Around Construction Sites

Being struck by falling objects or other debris is always a risk inside and around construction sites. Besides the workers themselves, visitors to the site and even pedestrians are also open to the risk of being hit by objects falling from above, accidents that can result to traumatic brain injury, paralysis or even death. The most common types of falling objects that can cause serious injury are handheld tools, loose building materials, movable concrete and improperly secured loads from cranes or mechanical lifts.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in 2012, about 78 construction workers were killed after being struck by falling objects or debris. Due to the dangers workers and many other individuals are exposed to, OSHA makes it the legal responsibility of construction companies and construction site owners to make sure that construction sites are kept safe. Accidents due to failure to keep construction sites safe may be the result of negligence of construction companies, site owners, workers and subcontractors. These acts of negligence that can result to falling objects or debris and injure someone include:

  • Lack of signage that will warn people about work going on overhead;
  • Lack of barricades to limit access to construction sites;
  • Tools or materials accidentally dropped by workers working on construction scaffolding and platforms;
  • Failure to wear or lack of personal protective gear, such as hard hats, face shields, and safety googles;
  • Failure to make regular maintenance checks and properly inspect construction equipment before use;
  • Failure of workers to secure hand held tools and other materials properly;
  • Failure on the part of employers to properly train workers on safety measures and on the proper use of construction equipment and machinery;
  • Failure on the part of employers to provide workers with safety gears;
  • Lack of safety devices, such as debris nets, shore and brace structures, catch platforms, tool guards, and toe boards; and,
  • Failure to properly secure loads that are being lifted, resulting to objects getting dislodged.

According to Philadelphia personal injury lawyers, there are many traumatic injuries that can occur on construction sites. These injuries frequently require emergency medical services because of the dangerous equipment on these sites. Unsurprisingly, construction workers face the most risk of construction site injuries. They must rely on their employers to provide the safest work environment possible and proper safety training for their jobs. Unfortunately, many employers fail to take adequate safety measures in order to cut costs and many construction workers suffer injuries as a result.

While it is true that a construction worker, who gets injured on the job, may be able to apply for financial benefits paid by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Program, he/she may also waive this legal right and choose to file a civil suit against his/her employer instead; he/she may also be able to file a civil lawsuit against a third party individual whose action or lack of action may have contributed to the accident that resulted to his/her injuries. Having a seasoned personal injury lawyer, who can counsel him/her regarding the best legal action to take, may be an advantage.