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Are you in danger at work from dropped tools?

Suppose you're working as a laborer on a New York City construction site. High above you are workers on scaffolds assembling the facade of a building under construction. One worker suffering from seasonal allergies sneezes and drops his hammer.

If you are the hapless worker that gets hit by the tumbling tool, today may be your last day. Not just at work, but on Earth.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, using data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), reports that over 50,000 incidents categorized as "struck by falling object" occur each year in America.

What are the dangers of dropped objects?

To get a clearer picture of what can happen when a worker drops a tool from a great height involves physics. If a tool weighing 8 pounds is dropped from the height of 200 feet, it will strike a person or object below with the force of 2,833 pounds psi. That's equal to the destructive force of a vehicle striking an area of a square inch.

The best way to avoid being responsible for or a victim of such a tragedy is to take preventative measures. It's always easier to sidestep disaster than ameliorate its effects. However, all workers on construction sites should be proactive about safety. This means wearing hardhats and steel-toed boots and tying off when they are off of the ground level.But it also means to tether tools they are using to avoid them falling and causing injuries and deaths.

If you wind up injured from a worksite mishap, you may have to file a workers' compensation claim or even a lawsuit against a negligent employer.

Source: EHS Today, "The Sky Isn't Falling (And Your Tools Shouldn't Either)," Mark Caldwell, accessed March 30, 2018

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