Columbus Falling Construction Debris Lawyers
At the turn of the 20th century, the United States saw overpopulation and poverty running rampant. Many times, the only option was for the residents of larger cities to begin expanding upward, rather than outward, which is how the first skyscraper was built. Skyscrapers were first seen predominately in the cities of New York and Chicago, and they have since expanded to cities across the United States. Much like the industrial boom of the 20th century, cities across Ohio are rapidly gaining population and forcing construction companies to build upward. With streets being constantly repaired and construction companies taking on new building projects, we have become conditioned to an environment riddled with construction projects, so much so that we often walk and drive through construction zones without realizing the potential dangers that lie above us. Should a worker slip, or make any minor mistake, a tool or other form of debris could fall onto and seriously injure unsuspecting bystanders. When this occurs, it is the sole responsibility of the contractor or construction worker to provide the injured party compensation for injuries inflicted.
According to the New York post, in the past five years, 59 people have been struck by falling debris in New York City alone, and the numbers are on the rise. Fall protection violations are topping OSHA’s list of safety violations—this can range from tools and equipment to people. For objects at height, the focus should be on preventing things from falling. The New York Times published an article in 1903 that said, “Dozens of placards posted at various places on the bridge caution the iron workers to use great care in the handling of tools, to avoid dropping them into the river.” Yet, 115 years later, we are having the same conversation.
There are more than 50,000 people each year struck by a falling object in the United States. That equates to one injury caused by a dropped object every 10 minutes. Despite OSHA standards, many contractors do not take the necessary safety precautions to prevent fall-related injuries. However, fewer than 25% of construction workers think that these accidents are preventable, and the majority of construction workers see themselves as victims of these accidents, rather than the cause.
Calculations can be done to determine what kind of force an object falling from any certain height generates when dropped. An eight-pound object dropped from 200 feet would hit with a force of 2,833 pounds per square-inch. This is the equivalent of a small car hitting a one-square-inch area. If a worker drops something as small as a hammer or a tape measure, it would likely cause a fatality.
In the United States, we harness workers with fall protection harnesses in order to prevent people from falling, but there is very little being done to prevent tools and other objects from falling. We often rely on debris nets or toe boards to catch the falling objects, or at least limit the damage. However, these fail-safes are not always effective. The only way to ensure that falling objects do not harm bystanders is to harness tools and objects in the same ways that we harness the workers at heights. The difference between a fall protection program for workers and a fall protection program for objects is only a matter of perspective: the first saves you; the second saves others.
It is the obligation of contractors to provide a safe environment for both the workers and for anyone who passes through a construction site. Whenever a person is harmed in a falling debris accident, it is necessary to review the safety policies of the contractor of that site. If the construction site was unsafe and the contractor could have implemented preventative measures, but failed to do so, then the contractor is considered liable and must provide compensation to the injured parties.
By filing a lawsuit for negligence or wrongful death, you will be sending a message to construction companies across the state that cutting corners on safety is absolutely unacceptable. If you or a loved one was harmed or killed because of falling debris from an Ohio construction site, contact the Columbus construction accident attorneys at Rinehardt Law Firm and let us fight for you.
Rinehardt Law Firm is the answer to your personal injury. Our team of attorneys and case managers have represented clients in in Columbus and throughout central and north central Ohio for years. We treat every new client as if they were part of our family by providing clear communication, building a strong relationship, and using our experience to provide legal guidance that’s in their best interests. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so don’t hesitate to contact our team about your legal matter.