Can I Get Financial Compensation After Being Struck By Falling Objects While Working Construction?

Were you injured at a construction site after being struck by a falling tool or debris? It’s important to explore your options for financial compensation. Our NYC construction injury lawyers can help you understand your rights.

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Construction job sites are some of the most dangerous workplaces in New York City. These days, it seems like every week there’s a new headline about a hardhat getting injured in a preventable construction accident. At any site, it’s important to make sure tools and all other objects are secured when working from high distances. When a worker drops a tool or other debris falls onto workers below, severe and even fatal construction injuries can occur.

Even though the dangers of falling objects are well-known in the construction industry, fall protection violations consistently top the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s list of safety violations. Construction site managers and workers who fail to take fall protection seriously endanger the lives of anyone working below them.

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How Dangerous Are Falling Objects?

Falling objects are some of the most common occupational injuries in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are over 50,000 “struck by falling object” OSHA recordable injuries every year in the US – or one injury caused by a dropped object every ten minutes. Far too many of these injuries could have been prevented if contractors and employers would provide workers with the proper personal fall protection systems, both for securing their tools and themselves.

Even a small dropped object can be fatal if it falls from a high enough elevation. In one tragic example, a man was killed at a Jersey City construction site when a one-pound tape measure fell from the waist of a construction worker working from 50 stories above. The workers who do survive are often saddled with severe injuries, including concussions, fractures, lacerations, and traumatic brain injuries.

Keeping Construction Sites Safe From Falling Objects

OSHA has very clear guidelines on how to properly safeguard construction sites and workers from the dangers of falling objects – yet there were still over 7,400 recorded fall protection violations in 2015. All construction sites should have the following protections in place:

  • Attachments points
  • Tool lanyards
  • Wristbands
  • Tool holsters
  • Tool belts
  • Tool pouches
  • Spill control buckets

Furthermore, OSHA recommends the following actions for reducing the risk of falling objects:tool belt on roof

  • Implement a fall protection for tools program
  • Assign a competent person to implement the program
  • Raise awareness on dropped object identification and reduction among employees
  • Train workers to identify and reduce behavior leading to dropped objects
  • Secure tools to prevent dropping to lower levels
  • Conduct negative risk assessments before beginning work
  • Schedule regular “hazard hunts”, or checks for hazards
  • Inspect all overhead equipment and work locations for loose items

While you may not be permitted to sue your employer for a construction work injury in New York City, there are other options for financial compensation beyond Workers’ Comp. If a negligent third party (someone other than your co-workers or employer) was partly responsible for your injury, you could have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit in addition to Workers’ Comp.

Who Can Be Held Liable In A Construction Injury Lawsuit?

Anyone who was involved with work on your site but has a different employer can be held liable for causing an injury through negligence. This includes independent contractors, equipment manufacturers, architects, property owners, and employees for other subcontractors. Determining liability in a construction injury case is extremely complex, as there are usually multiple parties who could potentially be considered liable. New York’s complex Workers’ Compensation system can make securing financial compensation for a construction work injury even more difficult.

Because of the complex nature of these cases and the potential for multiple available forms of compensation, it’s highly advisable to have your case reviewed by an experienced NYC construction injury lawyer. Lipsig’s construction injury team can help you determine if a negligent third party contributed to your injury and help you hold these parties liable for damages related to your injuries. To find out more about how you can get the financial support you need after being injured by falling objects while working construction, contact us today for a free consultation.