November 19, 2023 | Publications

Construction Accidents: Falling Objects in NYC

New York Construction Accident Attorneys

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 or killed 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

Instances of workers being struck by falling tools, materials, debris, or other objects typically result from a disregard for established policies and procedures designed to prevent such accidents. Negligent employers may, at times, neglect to enforce the use of safety gear or ensure the proper securing of work areas. This failure heightens the risk of employees being struck and injured by 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

In situations where items being raised or hoisted result in an injury to a worker due to a fall, legal responsibility may be assigned to the owner or general contractor. This is particularly applicable when a construction apparatus is defective or when safety measures were lacking or not adequately enforced. While on-the-job injuries are typically covered by Workers’ Compensation, construction sites often involve various parties, including contractors, subcontractors, and property owners. Consequently, one or more of these third parties may bear liability for injuries sustained by a construction worker.

Property Owner Liability: In the event of an injury on private property, the property owner may be legally responsible for neglecting to address an unsafe condition that resulted in a worker’s injury.

Contractor Responsibility: Construction sites typically involve several contractors working collaboratively but without shared employees. If a construction worker sustains injuries due to the negligent or reckless behavior of an employee from a different contractor, the injured party may have the right to seek damages from that specific contractor.

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 in Queens 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 At Karasik Law Group, winning matters. Win with us! We speak for the injured; our results speak for themselves.