Every 10 minutes, a falling object hurts someone in the United States. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, injuries from falling objects account for more than 50,000 incidents every year. That makes it one of the leading causes of workplace injuries on construction sites and in warehouses across the nation.
Employers can easily prevent most accidents by using the proper safety equipment. If that’s true, then why do so many ignore the problem? Why do so many workers and employers overlook the dangers of dropped and fallen objects?
The Danger of Falling Objects
When workers operate at heights, they wear harnesses that prevent them from falling, but what about their tools, which can easily drop out of their hands and hurtle to the ground?
Even a small object can cause significant damage when dropped from a great height. In one case, a 1-pound tape measure killed someone after falling 50 stories. Heavier objects pose an even greater danger.
What Safety Precautions Can Prevent Accidents?
Many accidents are preventable, as long as everyone involved uses the correct safety equipment and follows the proper procedures. Personal protective gear provides one layer of defense, but even hard hats can do nothing against the force of some falling tools.
A better strategy is to prevent objects from falling in the first place. In order to do so, employers must follow through with a number of precautionary steps. For starters, they can:
- Set up safety nets to catch falling objects.
- Use fall protection harnesses for objects as well as people.
- Tie objects weighing more than five pounds to structures.
- Conduct thorough risk assessments.
- Alert all employees to the danger of falling objects.
- Train employees to use tethered objects.
What Happens When a Falling Object Injures Someone?
When an object does fall, serious injuries and even death can occur. Once an accident has occurred, the only recourse is to contact a work injury lawyer, who can help victims and their families recover damages.
If you need help covering the substantial medical or funeral expenses that accompany a falling object injury, contact the experienced work accident attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers We’ll help you get the justice you deserve.