Sometime in 2013, a 58-year-old independent contractor for a New York-based trucking company, who was delivering Gypsum National drywall in New Jersey, ended up as another innocent and unsuspecting victim of what may be said was a totally preventable fatal accident in a construction site.
After speaking with someone (who was in a pickup truck), the 58-year-old contractor was hit on the head by a 1-pound tape measure, which slipped from the hands of a worker (who was working on the 50th floor) while he tried to unfasten the tool from his belt. The tape measure bounced off a piece of construction metal that was about 10 – 15 feet from the ground before inflicting a fatal head injury.
Falling objects from heights, especially in construction sites, are a huge safety concern. In 2012, records from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics show 4,383 fatal work-related injuries in the United States. The cause of death of 233 who died was getting struck by objects
or equipment, which is the third leading cause of injuries and fatalities in construction site accidents. The 509 deaths, by the way, registered a seven percent increase from 2011 during which the number of deaths was 219.
The types of objects that very often fall from great heights include hand-held radios; nuts and bolts; hard hats; little bits of concrete; and small tools, like tape measures, pliers and wrenches. While this type of carelessness can definitely result to property damage below, lost productivity, and inconvenience to worker (who will have to go down to retrieve the tool), workers should never forget that this can also very well result to a life-altering injury or death, not just to his/her co-worker or anyone else inside or near the site, but to pedestrians too who may be feet away from the construction area since falling objects can bounce off any material and hit anything or anyone below.
Many are not aware of the dangers and the possible severe injuries which can result from falling construction tools and materials. Who would have thought that a 1-pound tape measure would kill a man, anyway? Getting hit by a falling object can easily result to severe injuries, such as brain and head injuries which, if this does not kill the victim, it may cause in him/her permanent disability.
As the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® explains in its website, over 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury every year, hospitalizing 275,000 and killing 52,000 others. These individuals may suffer cognitive, emotional, and other difficulties that require ongoing care and treatment, at great expense. If the accident resulting to brain injury was the fault of someone else, the victim is given all the rights to pursue legal action where the court may find him/her eligible to receive financial compensation for the damages he/she has been unjustly made to suffer.