It’s not something we think of or even expect to happen, however it can. Many people are surprised to discover how dangerous falling objects at any height can be as well as the life-altering injuries that occur because of it. Falling objects can range based on the facts of the situation. There’s been cases of people being struck by heavy debris at a construction site, or even sustaining a head injury due to merchandise toppling on them at the store. These facts are further supported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which states that more than 50,000 people a year are injured due to being “struck by a falling object.”
Injuries stemming from falling object is especially prevalent at construction jobs and sites. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has deemed falling objects as one of the main safety hazards. It was found that 10.1% of all construction-related fatalities were caused by being struck by some object, which includes falling objects. Construction companies and their project managers must follow the safety standards set forth by the OSHA. Failure to implement these measures could lead to a severe injury caused by a falling object.
If you have been injured due to a falling object, contact the experienced legal team at PNW Trial Lawyers.
Bellingham Falling Object Attorney | Washington Personal Injury Firm
Typically, injuries caused by falling objects happen on a person’s head or neck—one of the most vulnerable areas of the body. Victims of falling objects often sustain traumatic head or brain injuries as well as spinal cord damage due to being struck with such force. If you have been injured by a falling object, then it’s within your best interest to call PNW Trial Lawyers. You may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries in the form of a monetary award or settlement.
Learn your legal options and get answers to your burning questions today by calling our office at (360) 483-5201. You can also leave a contact form on our site and we’ll contact you. PNW Trial Lawyers has offices in Bellingham and serves the residents of Skagit County, Whatcom County, and Snohomish County, Washington.
- Falling Objects at a Construction Site
- Retailers and Falling Objects
- Damages for Falling Objects
- Additional Resources
Falling Objects at a Construction Site
Most workers at construction sites have an understanding of how dangerous their job is. That is why it’s so very important construction companies and managers of sites are up to date with safety standards. That includes protections against falling objects. Any falling object at a construction site has the potential of causing deadly injuries on a person. This is especially true if the item that fell was sharp, automated, heavy, or explosive.
The OSHA reveals how dangerous falling objects at a construction site is every year by releasing reports detailing the number of fatalities related to being “struck by an object.” Data indicates that 10 percent of all deaths at construction sites are due to falling or dropped objects. Due to this, the OSHA has a set of safety rules and regulations for any person working at or managing a construction site. It’s the job of site managers and construction companies to ensure all these safety standards are being followed to a T. They must ensure their employees properly use, maintain, and secure all equipment to mitigate falling object accidents. In addition, managers and the construction company must ensure all employees have been properly trained and have a clear understanding of all safety rules and regulations.
Injuries due to falling and/or dropped objects can happen in a variety of situations. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
- Operating power industrial trucks
- Accessing or walking through a construction zone or worksite
- Construction jobs involving working on a scaffold
- Working near or under a storage rack
- Construction jobs involving work platforms
- Standing or working on a ladder
Failure to follow OSHA safety measures could result in injury, whether it’s a construction worker or simply a bystander. Those injured by falling objects at a construction site can then file legal action against the responsible party for damages. If successful, the injured plaintiff will receive a monetary award or settlement based on their damages related to the injury.
Listed below are some negligent actions a site manager or company may engage in that could lead to a serious struck-by injury.
- Inspect hard hats for cracks, dents, gouges or any other type of damage
- Allow crowding by employees when using nail guns
- Not securing overhead work using screens or toeboards as well as platforms
- Allowing workers to be near the swing radius of any materials that are being mechanically lifted
- Workers not wearing the proper Personal Protective Equipment such as hard hats
Retailers and Falling Objects
Unlike construction site injuries, no agency or organization keeps track of consumer accidents related to falling or dropped merchandise at a retail store. However, even if there isn’t a lot of data surrounding falling objects at retailer stores, doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Many large retailers and smaller businesses including Home Depot, Targe, Walmart, Lowe’s, and Costco use the “sky shelving” method when stocking heavy items. In some cases, these objects become loose and/or dislodged for some reason. When that occurs, it could lead to a serious head or neck injury by a falling or dropped object.
Often consumers and/or employees are harmed by falling objects due to items not being properly secured. These items can create lasting damage even if they aren’t heavy due to the velocity of the fall. These types of injuries can easily be prevented if the store owner or manager ensures proper safety measures are implemented. Some of these safety standards include, but are not limited to:
- Ensure shelving units are all steady and secured
- Properly train staff and check to make sure they can physically handle stacking items on such a high shelf
- Do not exceed the load-bearing limit on a shelf for items
- Have sufficient supervision over employees
Damages for Falling Object Accidents
An injury stemming from a falling or dropped object can be incredibly deadly as most of these injuries occur on a person’s head or neck. Thankfully, if you’ve been injured by a falling or dropped object the State of Washington recognizes the pain you’re going through. For that reason, the State allows injured victims to file legal action against the at-fault party for compensation to recover from their damages.
If you’re successful, then you may be provided a monetary award or settlement to cover your damages. Some damages you may recover include:
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Vehicle repairs
- Therapy or counseling costs
- Loss of enjoyment for life
- Rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
Dangers of Struck-By Objects – Visit the official website for the United States Department of Labor to read more about how deadly accidents are related to falling objects at a work site. Access the site to learn examples of injuries caused by falling objects, tips on how to mitigate dropped or falling objects now, and other important information.
Safety Regulations for Falling Objects | OSHA – Visit the official website for OSHA to learn more about their protection systems for both dropped and falling objects. Access the site to read the official rules set forth by OSHA regarding dropped or falling objects including how to secure working platforms, how hoist systems and guardrail systems should be implemented, and other important information.
Dropped Object Claim Bellingham Lawyer, WA
If you’ve been injured by a falling object, contact the experienced legal team at PNW Trial Lawyers. We have years of experience, resources, and skills we can utilize for your case. Don’t suffer emotionally, physically, or financially one more day without holding the responsible party accountable in a court of law. Call or schedule your first consultation with PNW Trial Lawyers today by calling our offices at (360) 483-5201.