Workplaces Where Falling Object Injuries Occur
While you might be the victim of a falling object mishap almost anywhere, such injuries occur most commonly in a few different workplaces:
In warehouses, large and heavy boxes, containers, and other items are generally stacked on high shelves or scaffolds throughout the building. You might be struck by a falling object while you’re working on the warehouse floor if:
- Items have been improperly stacked
- Guardrails or other safety devices are missing or damaged
- A shelf or platform breaks or collapses
- A forklift or other vehicle hits a shelf or a stack of heavy items
“Big box” retail stores that are set up like warehouses can also be the sites of falling object accidents.
Employees who work loading and unloading trucks, barges, boats, or shipping containers are at risk of being hit by objects that fall from high places or are dropped by cranes and other loading equipment.
Hundreds of construction workers are injured annually by falling lumber and other building materials, as well as tools and pieces of equipment that fall from partially completed structures or scaffolds.
Even workers who wear helmets or other protective gear on the job can suffer serious injuries if struck by falling objects in any one of these or other environments.
Common Falling Object Injuries
Whether you’re struck by a large, heavy object or a smaller one that falls from a high place, you can sustain serious injuries in a falling object accident:
- Fractured or crushed bones
- Bruises, lacerations, and scarring
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord damage that can result in paralysis
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
TBIs, the most common injuries caused by falling objects, can cause memory loss, dizziness, nausea, or seizures. In some cases, a skull fracture can bruise the brain and result in hemorrhaging, blood clots, coma, or death. If you lose a loved one in a work-related falling object mishap, you’re entitled to file a claim for workers’ comp death benefits.
What to Do If You’re Struck By a Falling Object
If you’re hit by a falling object on the job, you should take the following steps immediately:
Report and File
Report your accident right away to your supervisor or a claims administrator at your workplace. It’s best to do so in writing and provide photos of any visible injury you’ve sustained. Your employer should advise its insurance company of your accident and file a claim on your behalf with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC). If this does not happen within a week or so, you should file your own claim by using Form 50 from the SCWCC website.
Seek Medical Attention
As soon as possible, you should see a doctor who is certified and recommended by your employer’s insurer (not your own doctor). Follow that doctor’s advice conscientiously, keep all appointments, take all medications as prescribed, and retain receipts as well as other documentation of your medical treatment. When the doctor clears you to return to work, even with restrictions or at a light-duty job, you should report to work and make every effort to do that job.
Consult an Attorney
You should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately if your employer or its insurer:
- Is slow to approve necessary medical treatments
- Retaliates against you for filing a claim
- Sends you back to work too soon or gives you a job you cannot do
- Denies your claim
The services of an attorney are also highly recommended if your injury is a serious one, like a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury. Claims for these injuries are likely to be very expensive ones that might be disputed by the insurer in an attempt to save money.
Have You Been Injured On The Job In Florence?
If you've been hurt at your job in or around Florence, South Carolina, you can speak with a workers' compensation lawyer. Please contact us online or call our Florence personal injury office directly at 843.488.7540 to schedule your consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Charleston, Conway, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Mt. Pleasant, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.