Roofers Are Often Injured by Serious Construction Site Falls
Falls are among the most common causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, particularly for roofers. However, when workers receive proper training and appropriate fall protection, fall risks can be reduced significantly. Unfortunately, many roofing contractors routinely expose their workers to fall hazards by ignoring Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements.
Roofers are constantly exposed to fall hazards caused by loose roofing materials, uneven sheathing, violent gusts of wind, and slick surfaces. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 36 percent of fatal falls between 2011 and 2013 were from roofs. Even when these falls aren’t fatal, they frequently result in serious injuries, including:
- Broken bones.
- Severe head injuries.
- Leg and knee injuries.
Employers are required to provide employees working at least six feet above the ground with fall protection equipment that complies with OSHA regulations. Safety equipment provided to roofers may include:
- Guardrails. Removable guardrail systems installed around the perimeter of a roof can protect workers from falls.
- Personal fall arrest systems. These systems are designed to safely halt a worker’s fall before he strikes a lower level. They typically include an anchor, a full body harness, and a lanyard connecting the harness to the anchor. Rather than attaching themselves to a fixed anchor, roofers may use adjustable rope grabs. These allow workers to adjust their lanyard length, and may be useful when roofers are walking around the roof frequently.
- Footwear. Appropriate footwear is an important safety concern on any construction site, but it is particularly critical for roofers. The steep pitch of a roof can easily lead to slip and fall accidents, so roofers need footwear that provides adequate traction.
If you’ve been injured due to a roofing construction fall, you need representation by an experienced personal injury attorney in order to receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.
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