New York City saw 433 construction accidents in 2015, which was up almost double from the 2014 number of 231. Of those 433 accidents, 11 resulted in deaths to workers and pedestrians. On February 5, 2016, a huge crane fell in Manhattan and killed a pedestrian. When there is construction going on, it is inevitable that people are going to get hurt. One of the most common ways for workers and pedestrians to get hurt is by a falling object.
The worst part about being hit by a falling object is that the victim rarely sees it coming. While construction companies work hard to improve work site safety and develop new safety training for workers, there is still the issue of protecting the public to consider. What should you do if you or someone you love is hit by a falling object? What steps should you take to make sure that your life is not permanently affected by something that was not your fault?
Who Is At Risk Of Getting Injured By Falling Objects?
Falling objects are most likely going to come from construction sites and fall either on you or a vehicle you are in. If an object falls on your car know this, in New York City, it is mandatory to have insurance for your car. Unfortunately, there are many people driving around the city without insurance. When construction is taking place in a large city like New York, the chances that a large object will fall onto your car are increased. The worst thing you can do is drive around a city like New York with no insurance and therefore taking your chances that you will make it home without incident.
It is smart to take out as much liability insurance as you can on your vehicle because that could be something your family can make a claim against if you were ever struck by an object from a construction site. Of course, it is preferred that you survive the accident and are able to make a claim on your own, but if something does happen to you then your insurance is there to protect your family.
When it comes to your medical care, you may have to charge that to the construction company’s insurance. If you are struck by a falling object from a construction site, then you should seek out medical assistance first and then look for the project manager of the construction company. You will want to start the process with the construction firm’s insurance company as soon as possible because it can take a while to get the compensation you deserve.
Another form of insurance you should have in place to keep your family protected is life insurance. If an object does fall on your car and cause your death, then you will have something in place to protect the financial future of your family. It is unexpected events such as falling objects that inspire people to get life insurance at a young age.
Construction Workers Need To Be Mindful Of Safety Training
Construction workers are constantly at risk of being struck by falling objects of all types while they are on the job. Someone working on a scaffolding could drop a tool from 10 stories up that becomes a deadly missile as it heads towards the ground. Or, the side of a building being refurbished can become unstable and the masonry can fall to the ground.
The best way for construction workers to protect themselves is to always wear their protective equipment while on the job site, and take every safety training seriously. When an employer focuses on work site safety, it helps to protect workers and it also helps to reduce the company’s negligence if something were to fall. If your safety training prepared you for falling objects and you ignored that training, then you would have a difficult time bringing a lawsuit against the company.
If you notice falling objects on the job site, then alert a supervisor immediately. Many construction companies designate certain walkways for workers to keep them out of the path of falling objects, and it is a smart idea to utilize those walkways. If you need to go off a walkway, then discuss it with your supervisor to get advice on how to get through an unmarked area without being injured.
Find Ways To Avoid Getting Struck By Construction Objects
It is impossible to completely avoid areas where there could be falling objects. You could be walking past an old building in your area and be struck by bricks as they fall from the decaying exterior. But there are things you can do as a non-construction worker to avoid falling objects and keep yourself safe.
The first thing you need to do is try to find a route that avoids construction sites. In New York City, this can be difficult because there is construction going on all year round and some construction is being done on major roads. If you can find an alternate route to avoid construction, then that would work in your favor.
If you do find yourself having to walk near a construction site, then utilize the safety measure the company has put in place to protect the public. If there is a sheltered sidewalk available, then use that shelter to protect against falling objects. If the construction company has created an alternate route that allows you to go around the site and away from falling objects, then take that route.
As you travel around the city, take note of construction sites and the times they work. If there is any way you can plan your travel time around the times when work is not going on, then you can reduce the possibility of being struck by a falling object.
The Effects Of A Falling Object
Even the impact of the smallest falling object can have a significant effect on you and your family. If you are injured in such a way that you are unable to function as you had before the accident, then everything about your life must change. If you are struck by an object and killed, then your family is left to grieve your death.
If a falling object somehow alters your life, then you should immediately seek out compensation from the negligent party. You could have a lifetime of medical bills and lost income to consider if your life is altered, and you will need to be compensated for the changes in your life. If you are struck by an object and killed, then your family has a right to recover lost income and be compensated for the fact that you are not going to be around anymore.
A falling hazard does not have to be just around construction sites. Shelves that are improperly stocked at a retail store could result in you being struck and left with serious injuries. But when it comes to falling objects that can kill on contact, most of those come from construction sites that are wedged into populated areas.
If you notice a construction site that is not taking safety precautions and not doing what it can when it comes to protecting the public, then alert the company supervisor. If you see no changes, then call your local building department and lodge a complaint. On construction sites, safety should always be a primary concern. When neglecting that safety means a possible falling hazard for non-construction workers who go near that work site, then the company putting the public at risk should be held accountable. When it comes to falling objects, it is always best to pursue every avenue of prevention to make sure no one is injured.