Because NYC has so many high rise buildings, the risk of being struck by falling debris is higher than in other cities. When people look up at a completed building they fail to realize that there was once an open loft-like structure where that building now stands. While a building was under construction, one could see straight through from the bottom floor right to the top. What they also do not realize is all of these open levels are a hazard to construction workers. Workers who work on the uppermost floors are not the only ones who face these risk. Workers on the lower levels and ground are also subject to risks in the form of falling objects. Hard hats alone do not always protect workers.
Many different types of falling debris have struck NYC construction workers in the past. Tools, construction materials, debris, and even other construction workers have fallen and struck construction workers. When something falls from height it gains force and velocity as it hurtles toward the ground. The injuries that can happen to a worker from an object falling from above can be devastating. It can result in broken bones, head injuries and even death.
Falling Object Protections
The Occupational Safety & Heath Administration, or OSHA, recognizes this type of hazard as one of the biggest on a construction site. OSHA offers regulations and guidelines for accident prevention. The New York legislature has also recognized that these types of accidents could be very serious. They have covered falling object cases in New York under the scaffold law.
The scaffold law is an “absolute duty” statute. This means that it is there to protect workers in a situation over which they really have no control. This duty places the ultimate responsibility for safety in the workplace on owners, general contractors and their agents. This law applies even when the owners and general contractors do not control the actual work.
NYC Falling Debris Attorneys
But not all falling object accidents give rise to lawsuits covered under the scaffold law. Lawyers need to look at the the type of object, where it feel from, whether it was being hoisted, and whether it was secured, when determining whether it is a case under the scaffold law. The specific facts of your accident will help attorneys determine if your injury will be the kind that allows a lawsuit under scaffold law. We also need to take a hard look at the construction site itself. Your attorneys need to determine if sufficient warnings were posted or safety procedures were properly enforced. Your attorneys will need to determine who is in control of the worksite and responsible for your safety.
Falling object cases can often be complex and it will take time to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. Our experienced lawyers will look at your case and give you the answers you are looking for. In the meantime, we can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits so that while you are recovering you and your family can be taken care of. If you are involving in a falling debris accident in NYC, contact The Platta Law Firm today.