Injuries caused by falling objects are among the most common ways people are hurt at work in South Carolina. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) lists them as one of its major construction hazards – colloquially known as “OSHA’s Fatal Four.” Not only are these injuries frighteningly common, but they can also be downright deadly.
Because injuries from falling objects are such a danger in South Carolina, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Jebaily Law Firm want you to know how and where falling object injuries occur, as well as what you can do if you are hurt on the job by a falling object.
Types of Workplace Injuries from Falling Objects in South Carolina
Five main types of falling object accidents occur in South Carolina workplaces:
- Static dropped objects – A static dropped object is one that falls because of its own weight after being dislodged from its position or due to factors like corrosion, wear and tear, or vibrations at a work site. An example of a static dropped object would be heavy equipment shaking loose and falling through an upper floor of a construction site.
- Dynamic dropped objects – A dynamic dropped object is one that falls because of some external force that has been applied to it. For example, if a construction worker accidentally kicks a tool off a scaffold and the object falls to the ground, they would have precipitated a dynamic dropped object.
- Flying objects – A flying object is something that has been sent flying due to some type of external force. Flying object injuries are common after explosions, as the force from the blast can send tools, equipment, and people flying in different directions.
- Swinging objects – A swinging object moves back and forth in the air on a fixed path because it is suspended from a height. If something goes wrong with the support system or an external force acts on the object, the object might hit someone as it is swinging around.
- Rolling objects – While a rolling object is not falling, it can still build up speed as it moves and inflicts significant injuries if it hits someone. Accidents caused by motor vehicles at work are the most common example of rolling object injuries.
Where Do Falling Object Injuries Occur?
Here are some of the places where falling-object injuries are more likely to occur:
- Warehouses and loading docks
- Construction sites
- Retail stores, especially “big box” stores like Walmart and Target
There are also certain types of workers who are more likely to be injured by a falling object, such as:
- Maintenance workers
- Restaurant workers grabbing food from tall walk-in freezers
- Workers on scaffolds or ladders
- Workers on raised platforms
- Workers on cranes that are in motion
- Workers using manlifts to reach high places
- Workers using gangways to load or unload cargo
- Workers who spend time under storage racks
Potential Compensation for Workplace Injuries Due to Falling Objects
You could recover compensation in two ways after being hit by a falling object at work in South Carolina. The first is to file a workers’ compensation claim through your employer. If you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer’s insurer should cover all medical bills related to the accident as well as a portion of your missed wages. However, you cannot receive compensation for things like your pain and suffering.
You may also have cause for a personal injury lawsuit. While you generally are not allowed to sue your employer if they have workers’ comp insurance, you can file a lawsuit against a non-employer third party who may be liable for your injuries, such as a subcontractor who dropped a tool that hit you. A personal injury lawsuit allows you to pursue compensation for losses not covered by workers’ compensation, such as all lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and damaged personal property.
Contact a Skilled Workplace Injury Lawyer at Jebaily Law Firm
The South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm are here to fight for your rights and help you secure fair compensation for your injuries. Call us today or visit our contact page for a free consultation.