Making your way around New York City on foot is often difficult, it becomes even more difficult and dangerous when there are construction sites all around. Construction workers are either restoring and renovating older buildings, or creating new ones, and are constantly erecting and dismantling sidewalk bridges and scaffolding.
As a pedestrian, you may find yourself particularly vulnerable to suffering an injury around these projects.
Dangers lurking around construction zones:
Falling objects and debris:
Even though construction companies are required to extend scaffolding over sidewalks, it may not stop the risk of injury from falling objects. Falling small and large objects alike may become dangerous. Getting hit on the head by a small object may not seem like a big deal. However, you must consider the height from which that object originated. Anything falling far enough may inflict serious damage, especially to your head.
Although the scaffolding over city sidewalks is designed to protect passing pedestrians there is still a danger that something may fall beyond the protective scaffold, as well as the dangers of something falling when construction workers are either erecting or dismantling the sidewalk bridges and scaffolding.
Tripping and slipping hazards:
Construction activity and traffic often causes the adjoining sidewalk to crumble, shift or crack, become misleveled, and depressions to appear. When this occurs, you may trip or slip as you make your way over it. Chemicals, fuels, or lubricants that are used during construction may spill onto the sidewalk or roadway causing them to become slick and slippery.
Whenever there is a construction site with work being done there will always be trucks and other construction vehicles entering and exiting the site to make deliveries and remove debris. Driveways are often created at these construction sites for these vehicles that then drive over the public sidewalk. These driveways are often just created to be temporary and often become tripping and slipping hazards.
Debris from the construction activity, as well various material deliveries, may also cause debris and litter to be on the adjoining sidewalk and becoming a danger to the passing pedestrian.
Trucks and other construction vehicles:
As said previously, whenever there is active construction activity there will always be various construction vehicles entering and exiting the work site to make deliveries and remove debris. There should always be a flagman or other person present to direct and control the construction and pedestrian traffic so that the two do not inadvertently meet. As there are not always a flagman or other person present to control the traffic the sidewalk and driveways often become a hazard to pedestrians.
There is also a risk of an object falling from a construction related vehicle while it is being loaded or unloaded.
Distracting sounds and sights:
You may find yourself gawking at a building being newly constructed or you may be a tourist taking in the City’s sites. Taking your eyes off the walkway ahead may be dangerous to your health. Staying conscious and being aware of what is around and above you is the best way to avoid falling victim to construction site injuries.
The above are just some examples of the ways pedestrians suffer construction site related injuries. We had a client that was injured while walking under a sidewalk bridge and caught her clothing on a bolt that was protruding from the supporting pole throwing her to the ground. Another client was injured when there was an explosion within the construction site causing debris to fly. Material fell off of a truck that was being unloaded and injured a passing pedestrian.