As someone who works in construction or loves someone who does, it’s important that you understand the rights you have after a workplace accident. Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation laws prohibit employees from suing, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t seek compensation if a falling object leads to a serious injury.
Struck-by hazards, or falling objects, are one of the big four construction hazards. There are all kinds of reasons why these hazards might exist ranging from someone moving materials overhead to someone dropping an object unexpectedly.
How can workers avoid being struck by falling objects?
Your employer has a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace. This includes training everyone on how to work around objects that could fall from above.
Usually, workers in workplaces where objects could fall from above will be asked to wear personal protective equipment. This equipment may include a hard hat or safety glasses, for example. On top of that, your employer should be offering other safety precautions. Ideally, there would be protected walkways, for example, if someone is working overhead.
What can you do if you want to avoid falling objects?
Good communication is the key to avoiding falling objects. You should always make sure that hazards, like loose boards or tools, are stored properly. Additionally, if there is a tether for tools, then the tether should be used. This will help arrest a fall in action so that the item doesn’t continue falling until it hits someone or the ground.
If you are hit by a falling object, it’s important for you to seek medical care right away. Falling objects have the potential to cause brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. They may also cause lacerations, serious bruising, broken bones or other issues.
After you’re injured, let your employer know that you’ll be seeking medical care. Then, you should be able to submit that claim to workers’ compensation, so that you can get coverage for the medical treatment you received. If you have to remain off work, workers’ compensation may also kick in to help cover your lost wages or even to support you through vocational rehabilitation.