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Falling Objects in Construction Areas

Updated February 22, 2023 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

If you’ve ever seen a construction site, you’ve probably seen the signs reading “Danger: Construction Zone,” “Hard Hat Required,” or “Caution, Entering Construction Zone.” There are reasons those signs are up, particularly if a construction company is working on a taller building, like a skyscraper. 

Walking through or beneath construction zones can sometimes be unavoidable, especially if you are a construction worker and it is your job site. Construction zones can be dangerous for a number of reasons. And one of the primary safety concerns is falling debris. 

Being struck by a falling object in a construction zone is often devastating. If you sustain injuries from falling objects, the personal injury attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham are here to represent you. Falling object injuries can take a toll on you financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. WKW is here every step of the way to ensure that you get justice after experiencing injuries from falling objects.

Construction Falling Objects: Danger and Statistics

Falling objects is one of the most common types of construction accidents, which also include  falls, electrocution, and injuries from being stuck in or between construction equipment. According to the Bureau  of Labor Statistics’s 2020 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there were 217 deaths due to being struck by a falling object or piece of equipment. 

Yes, construction zones are dangerous, but that is no excuse for injury or death. By implementing the correct safety measures, accidents can be avoided. However, when people or construction companies act out of negligence, accidents can and do happen. 

When it comes to construction workers getting injured on the job, it’s all too typical for these injuries—or even fatalities—to be the result of inadequate safety standards. Negligent safety standards can happen on-site or further up the chain of command. Lack of proper safety standards that lead to falling debris in a construction area must be addressed; and those responsible should be held accountable. 

Falling Debris Injuries

Injuries caused by falling objects can be devastating and even life threatening. Although falling objects can strike any part of the body, in most accidents like this, the head takes the bulk of the blow, which can lead to brain injuries ranging from a mild concussion to permanent brain damage.

The most common types of falling debris injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Paralysis
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Disfigurement
  • Back or neck injuries
  • Scarring
  • Lacerations
  • Death 

Injury caused by falling debris can cause major harm, particularly because of the force of impact. Even the smallest of objects can be dangerous because of physics. The majority of injuries from falling objects happen on construction sites. In fact, fallen debris is a leading cause of construction injuries.

Construction Site Safety Standards

Construction sites have certain safety standards that, if not followed, can result in someone being struck by tools or debris falling from a high place. Indeed, construction industry safety standards are in place specifically to prevent these and other injuries. The law requires construction companies, contractors, and workers to take measures to prevent foreseeable harm.

Common Mistakes That Can Cause Injury From Falling Objects

When workers don’t take proper measures to prevent tools or debris from falling from a high place, other workers or people below may be injured. Some of the most common examples of mistakes that may cause this type of accident include the following:

  • Failure to secure tools or other equipment
  • Failure to inspect hooks, chains, or other means of securing equipment
  • Barricades placed too close to dangerous areas
  • Insufficient signage warning passersby to keep out
  • Failure to enforce the use of hard hats and other safety equipment
  • Malfunctioning equipment 
  • Faulty materials that lead to collapses
  • Unsecured equipment and loads
  • Failure to have safety protocols and equipment that would stop debris when it falls 

Passersby can easily become injured if construction companies don’t effectively warn of danger. Barricade placement and warning signs prevent injury and can even save lives. 

The law holds construction companies liable for injuries sustained as a result of their negligence in preventing—or at least warning of—hazardous conditions. When looking at the cause of falling objects, proper safety standards can prevent many of these accidents from happening. 

Although accidents can still happen, thorough safety measures can help prevent injuries from resulting, even if an object does fall.Learn more about the risks of construction accidents here. 

What Is Used in Construction Sites to Prevent Injuries From Falling Debris?

Some of the most common preventative measures taken when debris could fall include:

  • Toe boards
  • Personal protective equipment, such as hard hats 
  • Debris nets
  • D-rings
  • Tool sinches for harnesses
  • Wristbands
  • Self-vulcanizing tape 
  • Signage
  • Screens to catch falling debris
  • Materials over scaffolding and guardrails
  • Catch platforms
  • Canopies

It is essential that both workers and managers check load ratings. The load rating will determine how a tool or piece of equipment is securely attached to either a person or to another stable anchor point. 

In fact, this load rating protocol is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). All tools and objects that are unsecured must be secured in active construction areas.

These preventative measures are extremely helpful. They should always be implemented at a construction site where falling debris can occur. Though taking preventative steps can help protect construction workers and pedestrians, the main prerogative is to be proactive about falling debris. Taking preventative measures will make for a safer construction area and still allow construction workers to perform their duties well. 

The personal injury and workers’ compensation attorneys at WKW are here to represent you if the correct safety measures were not practiced at your work site. Employers need to provide their workers with protection and a safe work environment. If you have experienced an injury due to negligence and falling debris, contact us right away. 

People Most at Risk of Falling Object Injuries

Although anyone who encounters a construction zone is subject to falling debris injuries, there are occupations that are more at risk than most, including:

  • Construction laborers
  • First-line supervisors
  • Roofers
  • Electricians
  • Carpenters 

If you work in any of these occupations and have been injured by falling debris on your job site, contact the personal injury attorneys at WKW. 

Falling Debris Compensation

The type of compensation that you seek from filing a falling debris lawsuit will vary depending on the injury, case, and the state where the accident happened. There are three main types of compensation you can seek, depending on your circumstances:

  1. Medical bills
  2. Pain and suffering
  3. Lost income

Each of these types of compensation can be for your current injury as well as any future injury-related expenses. Even when your pain goes away, you will still need to pay your medical bills and make up for lost income. Additionally, your injury/pain may be chronic or long-lasting. 

Medical Bills

After suffering an injury, you may find that your medical bills start piling up. From hospital bills to physical therapy, doctor visits, and even hospital transportation, seeking help can get expensive. 

If you do get injured on the job by falling debris, seek medical help immediately. Your primary focus should be your health and wellbeing. Even if bills get expensive, WKW has the experience, knowledge, and resources to build a strong case and get you the compensation you deserve. 

Pain and Suffering

When you’ve been hit by falling debris, you are likely to suffer injuries and pain. But you can fight for compensation for your suffering due to someone else’s negligence. 

Your injury may be temporary—like a broken bone—and heal within a few months. Or you may suffer a TBI, contributing to life-long trauma. The severity of your injury will determine the amount of compensation you get.

Pain and suffering can also include your mental and emotional wellbeing. If your injury has led to a negative lifestyle change, you can seek compensation for this impact. Talk to your personal injury attorney at WKW about your experiences so we can build a strong case to get you justice.

Lost Income

If you have suffered a falling debris injury, you are most likely unable to work for a period of time. That lost time translates to lost income. Not having your usual income flow is already stressful enough without the addition of costly medical bills. We can fight for the income that you would have earned otherwise had you not been injured. 

Contact a Construction Site Accident Attorney Today

If you or someone you love was injured by falling debris, you may be able to collect compensation for your injury. If the object fell because of someone’s careless behavior, or if there was no warning that you were in a dangerous area, the law may be able to help.

Contact the Indianapolis construction site accident attorneys at Wilson Kehoe Winingham. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.886.1924 or fill out our online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Looking for more details about workers’ compensation, personal injury, and construction sites? Check out our construction accidents blog here.

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