When Is a Construction Company Responsible for a Falling-Debris Injury?
There’s no denying that your job is dangerous, but there have to be limits on the risks that you are expected to take while on a construction site. You accept that it’s your responsibility to wear your hard hat and use a harness while working at height—but should you be held responsible if you’re struck by a falling object while doing your job?
When Does “Falling Debris” Fall Under Construction Company Negligence?
While companies cannot be expected to prevent all kinds of debris from falling on construction sites, they can take steps to reduce injuries to their workers. For example, companies have a duty to protect everyone—including employees—from falling objects from work at height by:
- Installing safety netting. Safety nets can prevent many types of injuries, from debris falling on workers to workers themselves falling from heights. Any work on an open floor that take place several stories from the ground should use a safety net to prevent debris from rolling, blowing, or spilling onto people below.
- Posting signs. Hard hats may be required within construction areas, but many workers have been injured in parking lots, trailers, and other “off duty” areas as a result of falling objects. Employers should post warning signs in any areas within striking range of falling debris, giving employees proper warning to wear hard hats.
- Securing loose equipment. Many falling-object injuries result from unsecured tools or cables rolling off the edge of a floor or platform onto the workspace below. Workers should be properly trained on tool use and replacement when working at height, particularly on open or unfinished floors.
- Performing inspections. Even if cords, tools, and other items have been properly secured, debris may fall if the devices used to restrain them have weakened due to use. Regular inspections of machinery (including cranes and hoists), ties, hooks, and guards are necessary to replace worn or damaged parts.
Who Should Pay for the Costs of Your Injury?
Employees are covered for many falling-debris injuries by the provisions of workers compensation. However, in serious cases, these payments will not be enough to cover the full extent of a worker’s injuries. If an employee has suffered debilitating injury or the company is grossly negligent in providing for its workers, the employee may seek additional funds for his medical bills and loss of income.
We can help you discover if your employer, contractor, or coworkers may be responsible for the safety violations that led to your injury. Fill out the contact form on this page to give us a brief overview of your case, and we will contact you privately to explain your legal options.