Each industry in Tennessee has unique hazards that risk employee safety. However, some dangers are present in all workplaces, including dropped objects. Construction sites have many areas where employees work at different levels. Scaffold structures are one example of high-risk areas for dropped items. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than 50,000 incidents in which falling objects strike workers occur in the construction injury nationwide each year.
One way in which workers at lower levels can be protected from objects dropped by workers on higher levels is by wearing personal protective equipment. Although construction workers must always wear head protection, hardhats can only limit the severity of a head injury. Even small objects dropped from a significant height can cause catastrophic injuries. Hardhats will not reduce the risk of objects falling or being dropped.
Safety precautions include eliminating unnecessary tools, building materials and debris on higher-level work areas. Another mitigating measure involves installing toe boards and tethers that are securely anchored to prevent tools from dropping. When the construction project involves ongoing work on different levels, a safety net above lower-level workers can serve as a catch-all for anything dropped from a higher level.
When Tennessee workers suffer work-related injuries on construction sites, they will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, they must report their injuries to the employer as soon as possible to make sure a benefits claim is filed within the time limit. Compensation typically includes payment of medical expenses, and if the injury caused lost workdays, a portion of lost wages would form a part of the compensation.