There’s an old apocryphal story, a cautionary tale, warning that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building could kill a person if it were to land on their head. This legend has since been debunked, but it is still thematically relevant. Not just to tourist-visited skyscrapers, but to construction sites as well. You see, a penny’s fatalness is thwarted because its relative lightness makes it susceptible to the forces of air resistance. It will tumble and flip mid-air, seriously decreasing its speed, and white it will reach terminal velocity, it is simply too light and too flat to cause serious bodily damage. Because of this, a penny dropped from a tall building, even one as tall as the Empire State Building, might injure but could not kill a human being. But let’s example the principles at play. Skipping the heavy science, suffice it to say that a considerable enough weight (or mass), gaining appreciable speeds (or acceleration), may culminate in a lethal force.
That’s precisely what happened last November on a New Jersey construction site where a tape measure, loosed from a construction worker’s belt, fell and struck a delivery man, killing him. The construction worker was fifty floors up, and though the tape measure took a slight carom off of a piece of equipment near ground level, it had already gathered enough force to kill the delivery man. The victim was delivering sheet rock, and importantly, he wasn’t wearing a safety helmet. It’s so easy to overlook what seems to be simple and unnecessary safety precautions in the name of expediting the task at hand. Safety helmets, while de rigueur for the construction workers themselves, may seem optional to those visiting a site for brief periods of time. Delivery men, with their stacked dockets and busy delivery schedules may cut corners in the name of increasing their productivity. Unfortunately, in this situation, failing to adhere to safety guidelines resulted in tragedy, only highlighting the importance of wearing helmets.
This scenario brings light to an important problem. Someone must be responsible for enforcing all safety-equipment rules on all active construction sites. In this case, it may seem too late to lay direct blame on the delivery man or the foremen responsible for enforcing such rules. What’s more important, moving forward, should be focusing on a synergistic relationship between both incoming third-party workers and the in-house construction crew, solidifying an understanding and enforcement of all regulations. Cultivating such a relationship on all construction sites would dramatically decrease the likelihood of accidents.
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we strive to keep everyone involved in construction informed of the myriad benefits of stringent safety regulation adherence. Though we understand that accidents are bound to happen. In addition to injuries caused by objects that have fallen from heights, here are some of the other types of accidents we specialize in:
- Falls, trips, or slips
- Forklift Accidents
- Demolition Accidents
- Excavation Collapses
- Heavy Equipment Accidents
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Elevator Accidents
- Overseer Neglect
- Crane Accidents
- Defective Tools / Machinery
Remember, there are certain stipulations when it comes to filing suit for a construction related accident. For instance, there are a unique set of bylaws governing injuries sustained on scaffolding. Likewise, highway construction zones fall under their own set of rules and regulations. An ordinary citizen may be puzzled and confused by the complexities of these laws, but the attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC can help clarify all stipulations and will answer all of your questions.
As we mentioned earlier, we all know that accidents happen, but as a member of a construction project, you deserve to work in an environment that’s been secured to the highest extent possible. Did any of the following directly contribute to your injury?
- You were instructed to work through bad weather / rainy conditions
- Your work site was insufficiently lighted
- The tools or equipment provided for you were defective / malfunctioned
- Insufficient safety training was provided for your crew
- An architect or subcontractor made an error or miscalculation
- Your foreman / superior behaved in a negligent / malicious fashion
- A superior violated OSHA regulations
- A co-worker or superior’s incompetence, inexperience, or willful wrongdoing resulted in an accident
A foreman’s failure to comply with any of these standards means that you’ve been unduly aggrieved; your boss or bosses have failed to meet their obligation of providing safety for their employees, and this will certainly bolster your case.