Construction workers face may hazards while on construction sites.  Falling debris is just one.  However, pedestrians and site visitors may also be at risk of suffering serious injuries caused by falling objects.  Head trauma and other life-threatening injuries can occur when an object, such as debris or a tool, falls from a height onto an unsuspecting victim on the ground.  Our New York construction accident lawyers have represented workers and others who have been injured by falling debris on or near construction sites across New York State and the United States.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011, 219 workers lost their lives due to falling objects or debris.  Of all the occupational fatalities that year, falling objects or debris accounted for 5%.  There are many different scenarios where this type of incident may occur at a construction site, including:

  • A worker accidentally drops a tool while working at a height.
  • A crane drops building materials or other cargo.
  • The demolition of a building causes falling debris.

These are only three examples of the types of incidents where falling objects may hit workers or passersby.  The type and extent of the injury that results may vary depending on the size and weight of the object.  Heavy objects such as rebar, sheet metal, cinder blocks, and power tools are just some examples of objects that could cause considerable physical trauma, sometimes to more than one worker, when they fall.  Small objects, such as a bolt or nail, can claim the life of a worker or pedestrian should it fall from several stories above the victim.

Types of Injuries Caused by Falling Objects

Various injuries may result from flying or falling debris on construction sites.  Head trauma is one of the most common and serious injuries that is caused by falling objects.  Head trauma can result even if the construction worker is wearing a safety helmet.  Brain damage, open or closed skull fractures, paralysis, spinal cord trauma, concussion, coma, and blindness are some of the injuries that may result from falling objects. 

The following safety tips in avoiding injuries caused by falling and flying objects have been offered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”):

  • Wear a hardhat at all times while at a construction site.
  • Avoid working under a load that is being moved by a crane, hoist, or other piece of equipment.
  • In areas where work is being performed overhead, barricade hazard areas and post warning signs.
  • Be sure to properly secure building materials, tools, and other objects so they do not fall on people below.
  • Make use of nets, canopies, or platforms to catch falling objects or debris.

Pedestrians Injured by Debris at Construction Sites

Construction workers are not the only people who are at risk of being struck by a falling object at a construction site.  When there is construction being done on a building near a pedestrian walkway, passersby could be in danger of being hit by falling tools or debris that may be accidentally dropped.  In these cases it is important that liability (legal responsibility) is determined, since it may lie with the property owner, construction company, the product manufacturer, or another party.

Greenberg and Greenberg represents construction workers, including workers who belong to a union, employees, and independent contractors, across New York State who have been injured in a construction accident that involves falling debris.  We have also represented pedestrians and site visitors who have been injured in these important cases.

Depending on the type of incident, a victim of falling objects on construction sites may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits or could sue the at fault party for monetary damages.  There may be benefits or damages available to cover the injured worker, pedestrian, or site visitor’s medical care, lost earnings, future loss of wages, emotional trauma, ongoing medical care, and possibly more.  Our attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg strive to seek out any and all possible sources of financial and medical support in an attempt to maximize the recovery of our clients.

The Hudson falling debris accident attorneys at Greenberg and Greenberg handle cases throughout New York State, including Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, and Albany County.  Our legal team has earned a reputation for dedicated service to our clients injured in New York personal injury accidents.  Please contact us today to receive a FREE case evaluation by dialing locally to 518-828-3336 or call toll free at 877-469-9300.