According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), every 10 minutes someone is injured by a falling object. BLS calculated this statistic based off of the 50,000 injuries reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) annually in the United States. Construction workers and pedestrians can file suit against a construction company if they are injured by falling objects.
Workers would be covered by Workers’ Compensation; however, pedestrians would need to sue and prove:
- The defendant had an obligation to keep the construction zone safe
- The defendant breached that obligation
- The breach caused harm
Provided the plaintiff wins, damages typically include: medical expenses, lost wages for missed time from work as a result of the injury, pain and suffering, and decreased quality of life resulting from the injury.
Preventative Safety Measures
Sadly, companies typically invest in safety only after a tragic accident happens. Most agencies administer fall protection programs for their workers, but fail to extend those programs to include their tools and equipment. When falling objects cause injury or hazards to people, OSHA can use the General Duty Clause to cite companies. This clause states that employers must provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or likely to cause, death or physical harm.
If you work in an environment with the potential of being hit by a falling object, follow the preventative safety mandates by OSHA to avoid a tragic accident or being cited:
- Fasten tools and materials to ensure objects do not fall on people
- Block off danger zones and post caution signs
- Use screens on guardrails, scaffolds, or toe boards to ensure objects do not fall
- Use catch platforms, canopies, or debris nets to ensure people do not get hit by fallen objects
Five Additional Dropped Object Prevention Strategies
- Initiate a fall protection program for tools, and ensure a qualified person is assigned to manage the program.
- Educate workers on how to identify potential dangers, conduct risk assessment of hazardous workplaces, and use appropriate techniques to address hazards.
- Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE), like tethered tools with built-in connection points and energy-absorbing lanyards, to reduce the force and distance of dropped tools.
- Train employees on how to use such PPEs, including how to properly pass tools to coworkers.
- Utilize materials with closure systems, like buckets, bags, and pouches, to reduce the chance of items falling out.
If you were injured as a result of fallen debris at a construction work site, contact a Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyer from our team for help.
Philadelphia Construction Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Provide Legal Representation to Injured Accident Victims
We have more than 26 years of combined experience fighting on behalf of injured clients. We are dedicated to representing our clients who have been injured in an accident. The Philadelphia construction accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC have recovered numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients.
With offices in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Call 215-569-8488 or contact us online for a free case consultation.