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The true danger of falling tools

Construction workers face many risks, and the most significant is suffering a fall from elevation. Workers are encouraged to use fall safety gear to prevent this from happening, as deadly accidents continue year after year.

Falls are a serious threat, but they're not the only one. Dropped objects, from hammers to power tools, can also be deadly. It could be argued that fall protection is needed for tools at any elevation, as well.

After all, this issue has existed for centuries. We have records of workers being warned about it in 1903, long before modern safety laws. Even so, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) gets over 50,000 reports of falling objects striking workers every single year.

Think about the scope of the problem. Many events, especially those in which no one is hurt through blind luck, don't get reported to OSHA. That 50,000 statistic simply includes instances where a worker was hurt and reports were properly made. It stands to reason that even some injury cases never get reported correctly, even when they should.

So, that means 50,000 is a conservative estimate, and it still means that a worker is hit and injured by an object every 10 minutes. Not all objects are tools. Some are debris, materials and other items. But it's very clear that hard hats alone are not enough to keep workers safe on the job.

Were you hurt by a falling object on a construction site? Did someone else's negligence lead to the injury? If so, make sure you know all of the legal options that you have.

Source: EHS Today, "The Sky Isn't Falling (And Your Tools Shouldn't Either)," accessed March 23, 2018

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