Struck by Object Construction Accident Attorneys in Boston
Construction sites are danger zones, especially when contractors haven't properly planned for a project's safe execution or violate safety regulations.
Common objects found on job sites, such as heavy machinery and construction materials, can be dangerous and even deadly when they strike a worker. These accidents, known as "struck-by" accidents, are a leading cause of construction-related fatalities.
The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman has been representing construction workers and their families throughout the greater Boston area for more than 25 years and know all too well how devastating struck-by accidents can be.
If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a struck-by accident, we encourage you to contact our office today so that our construction accident attorneys can evaluate your case and explain your rights under the law. There are no fees until we recover money for you.Struck-by Vehicle Construction Accidents Can Be Deadly
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in four struck-by vehicle deaths involves construction workers, which is more than any other occupation.
The agency also reports that about 75% of struck-by fatalities in construction involve trucks, cranes, and other heavy equipment. Other vehicles that present struck-by risks include bulldozers, graders, bucket trucks, and cement mixers.
Workers assigned to job sites where safety practices are ignored are at an increased risk of injuries caused by struck-by vehicle accidents.
Workers involved in struck-by vehicle accidents are often:
- Pinned between construction vehicles and walls or other structures
- Hit by swinging backhoes or cranes
- Struck by cars, trucks, or heavy machinery
- Crushed beneath overturned vehicles
Common injuries include broken bones, crushing and degloving injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and back and neck injuries. These injuries are not only painful but often leave workers with permanent impairments.
The majority of these accidents are preventable when property owners and contractors manage worksites focusing on worker safety.
To avoid vehicle-related struck-by accidents, OSHA advises workers to:
- Wear seat belts when appropriate
- Inspect vehicles before each shift
- Refrain from driving vehicles in reverse when the rear view is obstructed, absent reverse alarms or other safety measures
- Drive vehicles on roads or grades that are safe and maintained
- Double-check that co-workers are at a safe distance before using dumping or lifting mechanisms
- Engage parking brakes and lower equipment blades, buckets, and other parts when vehicles are not in use
- Avoid exceeding a vehicle's load or lift limit
- Use flaggers, signs, and barricades when working near active roadways
- Wear vests and other brightly colored safety gear to promote visibility, especially at night
State and federal safety regulations require employers to maintain safe worksites and provide employees with adequate protective equipment. In addition, they're obligated to ensure that employees are trained on the proper use of equipment, tools, and safety gear.Falling and Flying Objects in Construction Zones Can Cause Head Injuries
Construction workers are also at risk of struck-by injuries caused by falling and flying objects. Construction equipment and building materials can fall from cranes and scaffolding onto unsuspecting workers below. Power tools and pushing and pulling activities can cause objects to fly through the air and strike individuals working nearby.
Common injuries from these types of accidents include lacerations, concussions, eye injuries, and blindness. When large or heavy objects are involved, these accidents can be fatal.
OSHA advises construction workers to protect themselves and their co-workers by:
- Wearing hardhats, safety goggles, and other protective gear
- Stacking materials in a way that prevents them from sliding or falling
- Using toeboards and debris nets to prevent objects from falling
- Inspecting tools before use to make sure safety guards are in place and in good condition
When tools are defective, malfunction, and cause an injury, an injured person can bring a product liability suit against the manufacturer and other parties that distributed and sold the product.
Tools like saws should have safety guards. These guards should not be removed to increase productivity or to otherwise enhance performance. When guards are removed, workers are vulnerable to a variety of injuries, including lacerations and amputations. You can read more about machine guarding here.
Those operating cranes or hoists should make sure that danger zones are barricaded, loads don't exceed lift limits, and that equipment is inspected to ensure that ropes, hooks, and other components are intact and not worn.
Workers should avoid performing job tasks under loads that are being moved.
Workers performing job tasks overhead on roofs, scaffolds, or platforms should make sure all tools and construction materials are secured.Masons and Bricklayers Face Additional Struck-by Hazards on Construction Sites
Workers such as masons and bricklayers who build concrete and masonry walls face added struck-by dangers. Jacks or lifting equipment used to position slabs and walls can fail, causing severe injury or even death.
OSHA advises these employees to protect themselves and their co-workers by:
- Only placing construction loads on a concrete structure when a supervisor or other qualified person says that it can support the load
- Properly shoring or bracing structures until permanent supports exist
- Limiting workers in the construction zone to essential personnel
- Loading lifting devices within their capacity
- Using automatic holding devices e incase a lifting mechanism fails
These are complicated projects that require proper planning and often advice by engineers and other experts in the field. A supervisor should be on hand to ensure that safety protocols are being followed.
To learn about how our construction accident attorneys can help with your struck-by object claim, contact The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC at (617) 367-2900 or through our online form.