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Falling objects cause construction site injuries in New York City

New York City always seems to have construction going on in its boroughs, whether it is Manhattan's Freedom Tower or the proposed traffic safety project in Queens. But construction workers can face risks of injury or even death from unsafe conditions present on their job sites.

One hazard workers face is from objects falling down on them from above. In the labor-intensive atmosphere of a construction project, power tools and building materials are constantly being pulled, pried, pushed and moved. It is almost inevitable that something will become airborne at some point.

The goal is to protect the workers and minimize any damage from accidents that occur. Workers can protect themselves by always wearing hardhats and steel-toed boots while on the job site. If their work causes flying particles, they should wear safety goggles, face shields and respirators to protect their eyes and lungs.

Supervisors must make sure that building materials are stacked properly and not too high so the stacks don't slip or collapse onto passing workers. They are responsible for making sure that debris nets and toeboards are implemented to reduce the likelihood of objects crashing down on people below. When not in use, all materials and tools should be secured.

All tools should be inspected at the start of each shift or whenever they are checked out or returned to make sure all their components are working and safety guards are in place. No worker should be permitted to operate any power tools unless he or she has been properly trained.

No supervisor should order or permit anyone to work underneath loads being moved by hoists or cranes. This equipment should undergo regular inspections to make sure all chains, hooks and more are in good repair. No piece of heavy equipment should ever have its loading or lifting capacity exceeded.

Any hazardous areas should be cordoned off with warning signs clearly posted in a language the labor force can read.

If you have been injured on a construction site, you may be entitled to compensation and payment of your medical expenses. To learn more and preserve your rights, contact a New York City personal injury attorney.

Source: Occupational Safety & Health Administration, "Struck-By: Falling/Flying Objects" Jan. 06, 2015

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