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Roof Fall Protection

Roof fall accidents are a significant concern in the construction industry and generally cause serious injury and death.

Many fall accidents will leave the victim critically injured, facing large medical expenses, and unable to work. In almost all cases, those who have been seriously hurt are not able to return to their job.

When horrific accidents occur, those who have been hurt working on a roof and their families need a construction accident lawyer to fight on their behalf. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has a long track record of helping roofing injury and fall accident victims get the legal justice and financial compensation they deserve.

construction-worker-with-harness-to-prevent-roof-fall

The following sections review roof fall protection hazards and what equipment may prevent a fall.

Dangers of Working on a Roof

Weather conditions might make working on a roof more dangerous than they ordinarily would be otherwise. Rain can make a roof more slippery, increasing the risk that a worker may fall from the roof.

Snow can weaken the surface of the roof as the heavyweight of the snow could make the ground sag and give way. Finally, wind could blow someone off the work or cause debris to blow off the roof to the ground below.

Employers must be conscious of the working conditions when their employees are engaged in work on the roof. They should take care to keep their employees out of danger.

If the employer has forced an employee to work through dangerous conditions, and they are injured, the employer may be found liable. Fall protection and safety is crucial to keep every building and home safe.

Potential Roofing Injuries

Potential dangers lurk when individuals are working at any height. While exercising due care can prevent some roofing injuries, the worker is still at risk for things that they cannot control.

For example, the roof may collapse under those on the roof, and they can fall to the floors below. When roofs are being repaired, there is a danger because the roof may be unstable.

The hazards are even more pronounced when a roofer is working during or immediately after the winter when the weather might have weakened roofs. The apparent risk is that the worker could fall from height to the ground below or a lower floor.

While there should be some fall protection to keep workers from falling, employers do not always follow the rules. Falls from height are very likely to cause serious injury to the worker.

Another risk of working on a roof is that there are electrical utilities that might not be marked. The chances are that the roofer might not be familiar with the location of the utilities on the roof.

They might come into contact with these utilities when repairing or replacing shingles and may be electrocuted. Finally, an additional risk is that one standing on a roof may be struck by debris flying through the air from other parts of the roof.

For example, they can be struck in the eye by a piece of debris loosened in the roofing repair. One does not need to be working on the roof to be injured in a roofing accident.

It is common for materials to fall from the roof. Debris can be stored on the roof and can fall, striking one who is on the ground or a lower floor.

Here are some of the possible injuries that may result from a construction site accident due to lack of fall protection:

  • Fractures
  • Death
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Responsible project managers should develop complete systems and reports to keep all platforms safe from roof break and slipping accidents. This could even extend to those that merely visit a site or a platform connected to the construction site.

Regulations That Protect Roofers

Like any other construction occupation, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has safety rules in place that must be followed in a workplace to protect the workers. In some instances, employers may not follow OSHA rules, whether it is due to a desire to take shortcuts or keep to a job schedule.

In any event, when an employer fails to follow an OSHA rule, this can be an issue in a lawsuit and can be evidence of negligence on the part of the employer. Below are some of the OSHA safety regulations that are in place to protect roofers from falls and other accidents:

  • Employers must provide adequate fall protection for roofers that might include guardrails on the roof when necessary.
  • Workers must receive adequate safety training to work as a roofer.
  • Roofers must be working a minimum distance from the edge of the roof when there are no guardrails.
  • Holes in the roof must be protected and covered when they are more than six feet above the ground.

OSHA has good reason for protecting roofing workers and putting the fall hazard and safety data out there. Fall protection is serious and every hazard should be handled through a combination of training, services, tools, and more.

This will help keep every person protected.

Roof Fall Protection Equipment and Other Ways to Protect Against Fall Hazards

Falls are a leading cause of accidents at the workplace. Employers must protect workers by keeping them properly trained in roof safety to avoid a fall. Yet, roof safety also includes proper roof fall protection systems and equipment.

They can start by providing fall protection equipment to workers and employees engaged in roofing like these:

  • Guardrail systems on the roof edge
  • Harnesses
  • Safety nets
  • Monitoring systems especially on the roof edge
  • Warning line guides

This roof safety protection and roof fall protection list is not exhaustive. Some roofs or a building will require more equipment to protect workers.

OSHA may even spell out the fall protection systems needed for fall safety management. These guidelines are the best way to make sure workers aren't exposed

Make sure they are installed, and that training is conducted so all know the importance of this responsibility and have the knowledge to inspect and withstand every roofing hazard.

Get Legal Help Now From a Roof Fall Accident Attorney

Our personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can discuss the facts of your case with you and examine the merits of your case for financial compensation. The consultation costs you nothing, and you do not owe us anything unless we help you recover from your injuries.

Contact 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.

Please do not send sensitive information to our law office through voicemail, email, or text message. Our legal team is ready to take your call and begin your case at once. Contact us to find out what recovery may be in store for you today.

Further Reading on Roof Falls

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