Over the last several weeks, New Yorkers have been dealing with snow and colder-than-normal temperatures. Although this has been inconvenient for many people, there are also serious safety risks associated with this. Aside from slippery roads and sidewalks, people may not consider the danger posed by icicles falling from buildings.
As a 27-year-old man was warning pedestrians in Midtown Manhattan about potentially dangerous icicles many feet overhead, he was struck by falling ice himself. Reports say that the man suffered lacerations to his face and a scratch on his eye. Bystanders even noticed blood on the ground from the incident.
The injured man was providing warnings as part of his job at the shopping center where the accident occurred. Due to his work-related injury, he may be able to receive compensation for the medical expenses or potential wages lost as a result of the injuries. At this point, there is no indication as to why the icicles hadn’t been removed from the top of the building before they became a concern.
This danger isn’t localized to this particular building in Manhattan. In fact, property owners throughout New York City should take precautions to prevent injuries related to falling icicles. Clearing icicles from rooflines could be considered regular maintenance, akin to preventing sidewalk accidents by clearing walkways of snow and ice patches. Following through on this type of task may be particularly important as temperatures fluctuate.
Ice projectiles falling from the tops of tall buildings pose a serious threat to anyone passing under them. Fortunately, the man involved in this case is expected to recover from his injuries, but other ice-related accidents could be much more serious.
Source: NYPost.com, “Falling icicle slashes man’s face in Midtown,” Natalie O’Neill and Natasha Velez, Jan. 22, 2014