Who is Liable for Falling Object Accidents at Construction Sites?
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous fields of work in the United States, regularly topping the list for most workplace injuries and fatalities. There are a variety of categories of construction accidents, one of the most common of which is injuries or fatalities caused by objects that fall and hit pedestrians.
When walking next to construction zones, pedestrians should have an expectation of safety. It is the duty of construction companies to keep construction zones reasonably safe, which includes preventing materials and objects from falling into areas outside of the zone where pedestrians and drivers are passing by. A failure to live up to this duty could result in the construction company being considered liable in ensuing personal injury litigation.
Here are just a few examples of some of the mistakes in the construction process that could result in falling object injuries:
- Lack of barricades: Pedestrians must be kept a certain distance away from construction sites to prevent falling objects from striking them. Anyone within a certain range of falling debris must be required to wear a hard hat. However, one cannot expect pedestrians walking near construction sites to have hard hats with them, so it is on the construction company to set up barricades that prevent people from getting within a certain distance of the work.
- Failure to secure loose items: Construction workers must secure any loose items they have up high with them to prevent them from falling. Tools, for example, are one of the more common items that fall and cause injuries. They frequently get moved around construction sites, so it’s not uncommon for them to be left unsecured. However, workers in elevated areas, especially areas over where people are walking, should always follow rigid safety practices and keep their tools and other items secured.
- Lack of equipment inspections: It’s not just tools and smaller items that must be properly secured—larger pieces of equipment should be regularly inspected for safety and secure attachments. If hooks, cords and other devices used to secure equipment to cranes or hoists become old, brittle or damaged, they could break and drop items to the ground. Regular inspections of these types of equipment are necessary for the safety of everyone who passes through a construction zone.
- Lack of signage: Construction companies must also put up signage that warns pedestrians that construction is actively occurring nearby and that there is a risk of falling objects. There should also be signs at entrances to construction zones indicating that anyone who passes beyond that point is required to wear a hard hat.
If you have been injured in a falling object accident or other type of construction-related accident, it is important you seek the assistance of an attorney to hold the liable party accountable. Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.
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Christopher Montes de Oca is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Chris is recognized as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” a recognition that only 2.5 percent of lawyers receive, because of the exceptional results he has seen and his dedication to his clients. Chris services clients throughout Los Angeles, including Echo Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Whittier, Glendale, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Hacienda Heights, and Alhambra. Call him today for a free consultation at (562) 901-4664.