You’ve probably heard the story about how a penny dropped from a skyscraper could kill someone. While that story is little more than an urban legend, the truth is that things do fall from heights in New York City.
The bigger the object, the more likely it is to cause injuries, fatalities and property damage. Imagine walking to work or the store, only to end up injured after building materials fall from a construction site.
Freak accidents happen all the time
Unfortunately for pedestrians, this kind of scenario can become a reality, unlike the deadly falling penny. It only takes a second for something overhead to come crashing down. Victims of these accidents may need to pursue civil lawsuits to cover medical bills and lost wages.
Sometimes falling objects are the result of a machinery failure. Other times, it can be human error that pushes items off a ledge or off of scaffolding. A hammer, for example, could cause very serious injuries, even if it was getting used to put shingles on a second story roof.
Nails or glass could damage car tires or bicycle tires, leading to a serious accidents. Larger supplies or machinery pose serious risk of injury to those on the sidewalks. Some items that end up falling are large enough to damage or even destroy motor vehicles, possibly injuring or killing the people inside.
Tall buildings lead to the possibility of falling materials
The denser and taller buildings in an area become, the more potential there is for falling objects. Both new construction and renovation projects create situations where heavy items may be lifted outside of a building or stored on a rooftop or scaffolding.
Typically, companies take great care to ensure that items are properly secured and will not fall, but accidents do happen. Many times, construction workers are the ones at risk of injury when materials fall, but people in the streets and on the sidewalks nearby could also end up in danger. A slip of the finger or a broken wire could result in a major accident.
Tragedy narrowly averted
On July 12, 2017, a construction accident in Midtown highlighted just how dangerous construction can be to those on the ground. An external elevator being used for renovations of high rise malfunctioned. That left a bundle of windows dangling precariously 17 stories in the air. The weight of that bundle of windows was a staggering 4,400 pounds, more than enough to destroy a vehicle or even kill a pedestrian or cyclist.
Thankfully, due to the quick response by construction workers and New York firefighters, the bundle of windows got secured and lowered safely to the ground. It’s easy to see how any small change in this situation could have resulted in a tragic outcome.