June 14, 2023 | Publications

Construction Accidents And Falling Objects in NYC

Falling objects and debris can cause injuries at construction sites; examples of falling objects are materials such as bricks, mortar, a hoist, a hammer, equipment, a plank, a collapsing scaffold or construction debris. Construction workers are at risk every day of being injured by falling objects. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) considers being struck by objects among the fatal four leading causes of construction accident deaths. New York Labor Law Section 240 is the law that provides attorneys with a basis for taking legal action in cases that seek compensation for workers injured by falling objects or debris.

Risks From Falling Objects

Construction workers are at risk of:

–           broken bones,

–           severe blunt-force trauma,

–           spinal injuries,

–           chemical burns

–           head injuries,

–           or even death.

Crushing accidents can occur as well, leaving the individual with painful traumatic rhabdomyolysis and an associated list of health complications from falling objects when they work beneath cranes, scaffolds, ladders, and wherever overhead work is being performed. In addition to tools and material falling from elevated work platforms, construction workers are frequently injured by loads being dropped while being moved or loaded, and heavy equipment tipping over or rolling onto workers.

Why Accidents Happen

When a worker is struck by falling tools, material, debris, or other objects, it is usually because someone has disregarded established policies and procedures meant to prevent such an accident. Sometimes, negligent employers may fail to enforce the wearing of safety gear or ensuring properly secure work areas, which increases the risk of employees being hit and injured from falling objects.

OSHA requires that employers provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Construction and demolition site owners, superintendents, foremen and other managers in New York know or should know they are required to take various steps to protect workers from falling objects. Those who take shortcuts to save time, money, or simply the effort required to protect workers are negligent.

Labor Law Provisions

New York has special provisions to address the unique dangers faced by construction workers. New York’s Labor Law Section 240, also known as the “scaffold law,” also covers instances of a worker being struck by a falling object. The law covers accidents such as building materials falling from above, collapsing scaffolding, faulty ceilings, floors collapsing, and ladders tipping or sliding. The law even covers instances whereby a worker falls from a height and strikes another while falling. Under the law, a number of parties can be liable for the injuries caused.

On-The-Job Injury

When objects are being lifted or hoisted and fall on a worker, the court may hold the owner or general contractor liable, especially when a construction device is faulty or when safety precautions were not in place or being properly followed. An on the job injury is usually covered by Workers’ Compensation, however, construction sites are usually occupied by other employers as well, such as contractors, subcontractors and property owners and often, one or more of these third parties can be liable for a construction worker’s injuries.

–           A property owner: If the injury occurs on private property, the property owner may face legal liability for having failed to remedy an unsafe condition that led to a worker’s injury.

–           A contractor: Construction sites often host multiple contractors who coordinate their efforts, but do not share employees. Construction workers injured by the careless or reckless actions of an employee of a different contractor may have rights against that contractor for damages.

How Can a New York Construction Accident Attorney Help?

Construction sites contain hazards for everyone, but they are especially dangerous for construction workers who spend their days there. If you or a loved have been seriously injured in a construction accident due to a falling object, Leading Law Firm Karasik Law Group will fight for your family’s right to compensation for every dollar you are entitled to under the law.  Call us to today at (718) 502-9112 to schedule a Free Consultation. And be sure to visit our website at www.karasiklawyers.com. At Karasik Law Group, winning matters. Win with us! We speak for the injured; our results speak for themselves.