What Are the Biggest Falling Object Risks on Construction Sites?

What Are the Biggest Falling Object Risks on Construction Sites?Falling objects are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths for construction workers. Since most construction work occurs at significant heights, you may be wondering what the biggest falling object risks on construction sites are. Knowing the steps to take to reduce the risk of falling objects can potentially prevent serious injuries and even fatalities among construction workers.

What types of objects are most likely to fall on construction sites?

Depending on the type of construction work, numerous types of objects are likely to fall. Here are some common falling objects that may lead to a  construction accident:

  • Ladders
  • Drywall
  • Glass
  • Tools
  • Machinery
  • Electrical equipment
  • Rocks
  • Concrete
  • Shingles
  • Asphalt
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Scaffolding
  • Plastic
  • Buckets
  • Bricks
  • Nails

Nearly anything on a construction site may be prone to falling. When working with these types of items or materials, workers must use caution to ensure that objects  are secure.

The injuries caused by falling objects on construction sites

Falling objects on construction sites can lead to a variety of different injuries, minor or life-threatening. Some of the most common injuries caused by falling objects on construction sites include:

When an object falls, it usually falls on a person’s head, causing skull injuries, concussions, and other traumatic brain injuries. However, construction objects can also fall on other parts of the body, including arms, legs, feet, hands, and more. If an object is sharp, it can cut or puncture the worker, causing severe bleeding and internal injuries.

What typically causes objects to fall at a construction site?

Objects sometimes fall at a construction site due to worker mistakes or errors. However, it is not uncommon for objects to fall due to circumstances that are out of the worker’s control. Some common examples of what causes objects to fall at a construction site include:

  • Forgetting to secure machinery, tools, or equipment
  • Failing to ensure that nails, chains, and hooks are in place
  • Objects or items placed close to the edge of an elevated structure
  • Defective or faulty equipment
  • Material issues that cause structures to collapse
  • Failing to use safety equipment (nets or barriers) to stop falling objects
  • Lack of experience or training
  • Incorrectly stacking objects or materials
  • Poorly securing objects or products on cranes or other machines
  • Placing heavy items or objects on surfaces that cannot hold them
  • Using machinery or tools improperly
  • High winds
  • Rain, sleet, thunderstorms, or other inclement weather
  • Slippery or wet conditions

Six Steps to reduce the risks of falling objects

Learning to reduce risks of falling objects is essential for construction workers.  Here are six important steps that all construction workers should take to reduce the risks of falling objects:

  1. Make sure your load is secure before moving it: When working at considerable heights, make sure your load is secure before moving it.  If you are operating a crane or forklift, the load should be secured properly to prevent it from falling over.
  2. Clean up frequently: All tools, machinery, and equipment should be cleaned several times throughout the day. If anything is left loose and unattended, it could fall and hurt a worker. In addition, all materials not being used should be thrown away or put somewhere secure.
  3. Put netting and barriers in place: Construction workers should put netting and barriers in place to  catch falling materials, tools, and equipment and prevent serious injuries and fatalities.
  4. Always wear protective equipment: One of the most effective ways construction workers can prevent injuries from falling objects is to wear protective equipment including hard hats, steel-toe boots, and gloves. It is usually the construction company’s responsibility to provide this equipment, and if you notice any issues with your equipment, immediately let your employer know.
  5. Stack objects correctly: Construction work involves frequently stacking objects and materials and it is crucial that they be arranged and stacked correctly to ensure they will not fall over or collapse and injure someone.
  6. Do not walk under ladders, scaffolds, or areas where work is being done overhead: If possible, avoid walking under ladders, scaffolds, or areas where work is being done overhead to minimize the risk of being hit by falling objects and materials.

At Cunningham & Mears, our attorneys help Oklahoma City construction accident victims recover compensation for work injuries.  If you have been struck by a falling object due to another party’s careless or reckless actions, our legal team will advocate for you and protect your rights. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation today. For your convenience, we have two different office locations in Oklahoma City for your convenience.