Falling objects are a common cause of workplace injuries in North Myrtle Beach. Whether it’s a tool falling from a scaffold on a construction site or a box falling from a high shelf at a store or warehouse, these accidents can severely harm workers.
If you were hurt by a falling object at your workplace, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical care and a portion of your lost wages. If a non-employer third party was at fault, you could be entitled to more compensation through a personal injury claim. However, navigating the legal system can be daunting, especially when dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury.
Instead of pursuing your claim by yourself, turn to Jebaily Law Firm to help you through this difficult time. We have helped many injured North Myrtle Beach workers get the security they need after an on-the-job accident, and we want to do the same for you.
Contact Jebaily Law Firm today for a free consultation with a falling object attorney in North Myrtle Beach. Case reviews are free, and we will only charge you a fee if we recover the benefits you need.
Statistics on Falling Object Injuries at Work
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics collects information on workplace accidents in North Myrtle Beach and across South Carolina and the rest of the country. Here are some important statistics on falling object injuries:
- There were 110,320 incidents involving workers getting struck by objects or equipment nationwide in one recent year.
- Service industry workers experienced the most injuries from getting struck by objects or equipment, with 75,170 cases occurring that year. Other dangerous industries for struck-by-object injuries include:
- Trade, transportation, and utility (40,750)
- Goods processing (35,150)
- Retail trade (20,590)
- Manufacturing (18,040)
- Construction (13,640)
- Transportation and warehousing (12,100)
- Healthcare and social assistance (10,340)
- Hand tools cause the most struck-by-object injuries at 24,360 cases, followed by parts and materials (23,880), and containers (18,900).
What Types of Equipment Can Fall on Job Sites?
Many types of equipment and other items can fall on job sites and injure workers, such as the following:
- Unsecured tools – Handheld tools like hammers, wrenches, and smaller power tools can fall from heights and strike workers below. Even a relatively small or light tool can inflict severe damage. According to multinational product manufacturer 3M, a tool weighing 8 pounds falling from a height of 200 feet will reach a final velocity of 80 mph and have an impact force of 5,540 pounds.
- Debris – Debris from demolition or construction activities, such as broken glass, metal scraps, and loose rocks, can fall or be sent flying and strike workers.
- Building materials – Construction materials, such as bricks, boards, and roofing materials, can dislodge and fall from heights to strike workers below.
- Equipment – Heavy equipment, such as cranes, excavators, and bulldozers, can fall and gravely injure workers. According to the National Safety Council, approximately 75 percent of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment.
- Boxes or products – Workers at warehouses and retail stores are at particular risk of being struck by boxes or products falling from shelves.
Common Jobs at Risk for Falling Objects
Jobs that involve working at heights or in areas with overhead hazards are at higher risk of injuries from falling objects. Some examples of jobs that are particularly vulnerable to these types of accidents include the following:
- Construction jobs – Construction workers often work at heights with tools and materials that can easily fall and cause injury.
- Warehouse jobs – Warehouse workers often work around objects stored on high shelves or where heavy machines move materials around.
- Roofing jobs – Roofers constantly work at heights with materials and equipment that could fall and injure other workers beneath them.
- Electricians – Electricians often work on or beneath ladders and elevated platforms, putting them at risk for falling items.
- Mechanics – Mechanics work under cars and trucks and can suffer injuries when tools or parts fall.
- Maintenance jobs – Maintenance workers often work in areas with overhead hazards, such as commercial kitchens or industrial facilities.
- Firefighting – Firefighters frequently enter burning buildings and unstable structures that are at risk of collapsing.
Common Injuries from Falling Objects
Falling objects can cause various injuries, the specifics and severity of which depend on the object’s size, weight, and speed, as well as where it hits someone. Examples of injuries from falling objects include the following:
- Lacerations – Sharp or jagged objects can cause deep cuts or lacerations that damage muscles, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels.
- Contusions – A direct hit from a falling or flying object can cause a severe contusion, a deep bruise resulting in swelling and pain.
- Fractures – Falling objects can break bones like the skull, ribs, spine, and those in the limbs.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) – A head injury caused by a falling object can lead to a TBI, ranging from a mild concussion to severe and irreversible brain damage.
- Spine injuries – Falling objects can injure the spine, causing severe pain and even paralysis.
- Crush injuries – Heavy objects that fall onto people below can cause crush injuries, including a particularly lethal condition known as compartment syndrome.
How to Prevent a Falling Object Accident
Employers can help prevent falling object accidents by following regulations set by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). For example, OSHA regulations require construction industry employers to ensure their workers secure all materials, equipment, and tools when not in use. Furthermore, employers must ensure that no other construction operations take place below steel erection unless they provide overhead protection for employees below.
Who Is Liable If You Are Injured by a Falling Object at Work?
If a falling object injures you at work, your employer may be responsible for paying you benefits. Most employers in North Myrtle Beach must provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees, which provides benefits regardless of who is at fault. Workers’ compensation pays for medical expenses to treat your injuries and a portion of lost wages during your recovery. If a falling object injury leaves you permanently disabled, you may be entitled to disability benefits as well.
In some cases, someone other than your employer or co-workers could be responsible for your injuries. If a non-employer third party’s negligence caused the accident, they could be held liable for your losses through a personal injury claim. For example, if a subcontractor or vendor on a construction site caused an object to fall onto a worker below, the injured worker could have a third-party personal injury claim. Potential compensation in a third-party claim is more extensive than workers’ comp benefits.
Get Help from Our North Myrtle Beach Falling Object Injury Lawyers
If you suffered a falling object injury at work, the North Myrtle Beach workers’ comp attorneys at Jebaily Law Firm can help you pursue the benefits you deserve from all available sources. Contact Jebaily Law Firm today for a free consultation with our North Myrtle Beach falling object injury lawyers.