Every day at their job, roofers are exposed to a multitude of risks, the greatest of which is falling. The longer the roofer’s exposure to the risk, the greater the odds of a falling accident occurring. A study conducted over a 13 year period determined that one-third of fatal construction falls were from roofs. Here are seven reasons for this:
- Trip hazards. The roofer must watch his step when working around the tools, cords, and construction materials lying on the roof. Uneven sheathing is another hazard.
- Sudden wind gusts. Windy conditions can cause the roofer to lose his balance particularly since his focus is on his work.
- Severe heat. Roofing is commonly done during the warm summer months when heat exhaustion may set in.
- Slip hazards. These include loose roofing materials and surfaces that are slippery when wet.
- Falling objects. Objects dropped from the roof may hit workers on the ground. This may be an accidental drop of tools or materials, or discarded material when demolishing an old roof.
- Falls caused by structural weaknesses. This may happen while demolishing an old roof. Workers can fall through holes and weak spots. Sometimes a large roof section can collapse beneath them. Other falls occur through sky lights and other openings.
- Falls triggered by another injury. A severe or painful injury is sometimes enough to cause a roofer to lose his focus or footing and fall.
Common Roofing Injuries
Falls from the roof often result in severe or fatal injuries. Other injuries occur as the result of the working environment. These injuries include:
- Concussion, skull fractures, and brain injuries.
- Back injuries and back problems.
- Broken bones.
- Internal organ damage.
- Injuries to the hands and fingers.
- Ankle and foot problems from working long hours on a sloped surface.
- Knee problems from constant kneeling.
- Health problems arising from long-term exposure to asphalt fumes and vapors. These include lung cancer, respiratory problems, skin problems, emphysema, anemia, and bone marrow loss.
If you were injured at your construction job, a work injury lawyer can help support your claim or negotiate a settlement with your employer. For more information and a free consultation, contact us at Lewis & Keller.