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Construction accident prevention: Avoid getting hit by objects

There's a reason why New York construction workers are referred to as "hard hats." It's because the law requires people working at construction sites to wear helmets to protect themselves from falling debris.

The danger of getting hit by falling debris and flying objects is real and serious for construction workers. Therefore, anyone employed at a construction site needs to be careful to prevent such accidents and their associated injuries from happening.

How many people get hurt each year?

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports that, in 2015, 16,260 people were hit by equipment and objects on the job. Of these incidents, 6,710 people suffered injuries from handheld equipment or objects. In 4,740 cases, the object slipped from the grasp of the worker who got hurt or the worker was swinging the object at the time of injury.

As for the 937 construction deaths in 2015, OSHA statistics state that 90 of them involved an object striking a worker. Eighty-one were electrocutions, 67 were workers caught between objects and 364 happened as a result of a fall.

Tips to prevent accidents caused by falling and flying objects

Here are several tips that workers can follow to prevent an injury from an object:

  • Workers should steer clear of any areas where other workers are doing overhead tasks.
  • Workers should always wear their hard hats when on site.
  • Workers should use netting and tool lanyards to prevent tools from falling.
  • Workers should not wear loose-fitting clothes that could get trapped in equipment.
  • Workers should be careful and attentive at all times when working from heights or when working on ladders and scaffolds. It's easy to drop tools, and even the lightest of objects can cause serious injuries to anyone passing by below.

Did a falling object cause your on-the-job injuries?

The vast majority of workers on-site at construction areas benefit from coverage under the New York workers' compensation system. If you have suffered an injury caused by a falling object at work, you can probably receive money as compensation for your medical care costs and lost income resulting from your injuries.

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