Roof fall accidents take a split second to happen and are a significant concern in the construction industry, as they often cause permanent injuries or even deaths. The tragic part is that these accidents are preventable with adequate roof fall protection.
Without fall protection and safety equipment, fall accidents can leave the victim critically injured, facing burdensome medical expenses, and unable to work.
In many cases, victims sustaining severe injuries are unable to fully rehabilitate and return to their job.
If you were injured in a roofing accident with no rooftop fall protection, contact a personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC to fight on your behalf.
We can assist you in obtaining financial compensation for medical costs and loss of income. Call our construction accident lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for a free consultation.
Weather Hazards and Fall Protection Systems
Weather conditions play an important role in roof injuries and can increase roof fall protection hazards. Examples of the adverse effect of weather on roofing can be found in the following –
- Rain can make a roof more slippery, increasing the risk that a worker may slip and fall off the roof edge
- Snow can weaken the surface of the roof, and the heavyweight of the snow could make the surface sag and give way when a worker steps on the roof
- Wind could blow a worker off the roof edge
- Wind could cause loose debris or stored roof supplies to blow off the roof edges, injuring workers
Employers must always be aware of fall hazards, using the appropriate fall protection systems and equipment during adverse weather.
Fall protection and safety systems are crucial to prevent unnecessary accidents. If the employer has forced an employee to work despite the fall hazards and they are injured, the employer may be found liable for negligence.
Potential Roofing Hazard
Potential safety hazards lurk when employees work at any height. While exercising due care can prevent some roofing injuries, the following parts of buildings remain a hazard and still pose severe risk –
- Roof edges without guardrails
- Skylights not covered
- Skylights without guardrails
- Winter-weakened roofs that collapse
- Unstable roofs due to repairs
- Unmarked electrical utilities
- Unstable shingles causing slips
- Loose debris flying off the roofs
While there should be fall protection solutions to keep workers from falling, employers do not always follow the rules, resulting in devastating roof falls with serious injuries to the worker.
Fall Hazard Injuries
A roof fall injury can happen instantly, and the injuries can be worsened with no use of a fall protection system. Often a roof fall injury can result in longs stays in the hospital and months of rehabilitation, with no income.
Examples of roof fall injuries include –
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Torn ligaments
- Nerve damage in hands, arms, or legs
- Cuts and bruises
Responsible project managers should develop and ensure that employees and site visitors always use a fall protection system. If your employer was negligent in providing fall protection that could have prevented your roof fall injury, speak to our personal injury attorneys to assist you in obtaining financial compensation.
OSHA Compliance and Rooftop Fall Protection Systems
Like any other construction occupation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has safety rules that must be followed to protect workers. Some employers do not prioritize OSHA regulations, and roofers are not protected as they work outside a rooftop fall protection environment.
Rooftop Fall Protection Systems And Equipment
If an employer fails to follow OSHA regulations, refusing to implement roof fall protection systems or safety solutions, they can be held liable in a lawsuit. Below are some of the OSHA safety regulations that are in place to provide comprehensive roof fall protection from falls and other accidents –
- Employers must provide adequate roof fall protection for roofers, including a guardrail system or a horizontal lifeline on the roof’s edge when necessary
- Workers and contractors must receive adequate safety training
- Roofers working a minimum distance from the roof edge when there are no guardrails
- On each commercial roof, anchors must be added when no guard rails are present as part of roof fall protection
- Holes in the roof and skylights must be protected and covered when they are more than six feet above the ground
- Fall protection equipment for the protection of roofers, such as safety nets, guidelines, harnesses, warning line guides, and monitoring systems, especially on the roof edge
OSHA has substantial fall hazard and safety data to assist companies and create the correct fall protection solutions to benefit their safety systems.
Various safety solutions on the market can prevent a roof fall and save lives and money. Using a combination of training and equipment, workers can mitigate hazards while using comprehensive roof fall protection systems.
If you have been injured due to a lack of rooftop fall protection solutions by your employer, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation.
Different Types of Rooftop Fall Protection Solutions
Falls are the leading cause of accidents at the workplace and can be prevented by roof fall protection systems. Employers can protect workers by ensuring they are adequately trained in roof safety, the different roof fall protection systems, and the usage of roof fall equipment.
The different types of fall protection systems are –
- Passive Fall Protection – Physical barriers such as guardrails around unprotected edges and other fall hazards
- Fall Restraint System – Protective equipment that attaches to the worker to keep them from reaching a fall hazard
- Fall Arrest System – An anchor point or series of anchor points, a safety lanyard or self-retracting lifeline, and a harness. This safety system was developed to stop a worker from dropping to a lower surface with a fall
Each building and roof will require its unique assessment and different roofs use different systems. A more comprehensive roof fall protection system is worth the investment and can prevent accidents, saving production hours and money.
Employers must ensure that –
- Safety solutions are correctly implemented for each building
- All equipment needed is properly installed
- Training is given to employees to understand and recognize how to inspect and mitigate each roofing hazard
OSHA may even spell out more comprehensive safety solutions needed for fall safety management of a building or a companies safety management program. These guidelines will ensure workers aren’t unnecessarily exposed to any roofing hazard.
Leading Roof Fall Accident Attorney and Your Legal Options
Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC offer a free consultation and will provide you with legal counsel regarding your claim for financial compensation.
Speak to our construction worker injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All discussions with our law firm remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Contingency Fee Agreement
Our personal injury attorneys accept all serious personal injury claims and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee agreement. This arrangement immediately ensures our clients have legal representation without paying any upfront out-of-pocket expenses.
Our law firm advances all expenses in resolving a roof injury claim and only gets paid when negotiating a settlement or winning a jury trial award. Our “No-Win/No-Fee” Guarantee is simple:
We do not get paid if you do not win!