An eight-year-old girl sustained a head injury Friday morning in a construction accident at her family’s apartment building. As her family left their apartment building that morning, a large piece of plywood fell from the fourth-floor fire escape and landed on her head, causing a large gash and a concussion.
The girl’s father had requested that workers pause their work while the family left the building, according to NBC New York. Had the workers respected his request, the family may have made it to their destination, a nearby park. nstead, they ended up in the hospital.
Despite needing staples to her head, the girl is expected to make a full recovery. However, not everyone affected by falling worksite materials is so lucky. Earlier this month, a man died when a fire escape fell seven stories and landed on his head in Manhattan.
The danger of falling objects
As we discussed in a recent post, fall protection violations are one of the most common safety violations on construction sites. Falls account for 59 percent of New York construction deaths. While we know it’s important to protect people against falls, it is also critical that those on construction sites minimize the risk of falling objects.
Every year, OSHA records about 50,000 instances of people being struck by objects, according to EHS Today. That means someone is hurt by a falling object roughly every 10 minutes on American worksites. However, there has been very little effort to curtail the frequency of dropped tools and equipment. Perhaps when occupational safety groups make it more of a priority, we will stop seeing avoidable injuries like this one.