In New York City, falling objects endanger workers and bystanders

With construction booming in New York, accidents involving falling objects are increasing, sometimes leading to fatal results.

Statistics show about one passerby is struck by a falling object each month

Earlier this year a young woman was struck and killed in Manhattan by a piece of plywood that was blown off of a construction site, as CBS New York reported at the time. While the incident was commonly described as a "freak accident" by the media, injuries caused by objects falling from construction sites are far more common than many people realize. In fact, statistics show that falling objects injure a passerby about once every month in the city, with many more injuries being suffered by construction workers themselves. As the city's building boom shows no signs of letting up, experts say that accidents involving falling objects are likely to continue.

Woman killed

In March of this year, a young real estate agent was hit by a piece of plywood on West 12th Street. The plywood had blown off of a nearby construction site,side during what was a particularly windy day, and struck the woman in her side. Sadly, she was pronounced dead at the hospital soon after the accident.

The construction site where the accident happened was temporarily shut down, but has since reopened. While an investigation is ongoing, the job site has been cited in the past for improperly secured objects. Last year a complaint was also lodged against the construction company running the site, after a falling object struck a person on the head.

Falling objects common

Although fatalities of the sort described above are relatively rare, injuries are not. As the Wall Street Journal reports, there have been 155 injuries to bystanders from 96 construction accidents between 2008 and 2014. In fact, about one pedestrian is injured by a construction accident every month in New York City, with approximately three-quarters of all accidents happening in Manhattan.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the dangers are even more severe for construction workers themselves. Experts note that as construction in New York continues to grow, worker injuries are also mounting. Last year, for example, saw 231 construction accidents, more than any other year since 2007, when monthly figures were first reported. Those 231 accidents led to 237 injured workers and eight fatalities.

Construction site accidents

Many accidents of the sort described above are caused by employees receiving poor safety training or lax safeguards at construction sites. Construction companies have a duty to ensure both their workers and the public are protected from job-site dangers, but unfortunately many contractors fail to take this duty seriously enough.

Anybody who has been injured in a construction accident in New York City should contact a personal injury attorney today. In addition to helping accident victims receive the compensation they may need to treat and recover from their injuries, pursuing legal action can also help make sure construction companies finally take the necessary measures that will make their job sites safer for both workers and bystanders.

Keywords: construction, accident, injury