Due to the fact that roofers work high above the ground most of the time, their jobs are inherently dangerous.
Working on roofs can be extremely dangerous. There have been many cases where a roofer has lost his life after falling from a height. Due to the fact that roofers work high above the ground most of the time, their jobs are inherently dangerous. In this post, our St. Louis work injury lawyer will talk about the common injuries sustained in roofing fall accidents on a construction site.
Injuries Sustained in Roofing Fall Accidents
Accidents can happen even when proper fall protection equipment is used. Even if the roofing worker survives a fall, the injuries sustained are often severely disabling. Some of the common injuries sustained by roofing workers include:
- Broken Bones: Roofing falls often cause broken bones. When a worker falls off a roof or a ladder, they land on some part of the body, and force of this impact is strong enough to break bones.
- Back injuries: These injuries are also fairly common among roofing workers because their work involves lifting heavy tools and materials. They may have to carry heavy objects up and down ladders. This puts them at risk of suffering back injuries. Crouching and bending for a long time period can also cause back strain and pain.
- Heat stroke: Sun exposure is among the most common causes of roofing injuries. Sun exposure can cause severe sunburns, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can land the worker in a hospital and can even cause death. Lack of proper hydration and sun protection puts the workers at an increased risk of injuries from sun exposure.
- Toxic fumes: Roofing workers who work with asphalt roofing can get exposed to fumes from asphalt. Prolonged and excessive exposure to these fumes can cause a chronic cough and skin cancer. Asphalt exposure can cause symptoms such as eye irritation, throat irritation, fatigue, and headaches.
- Puncture wounds: This is a common injury that roofing workers face each day at work. These injuries can range from minor puncture wounds to severe cuts and lacerations from power tools.
- Paralysis: A common accident scenario that can lead to a severe spinal cord injury is when a worker falls from a height and tries to avoid the fall by grabbing on to something. This can cause the worker to twist his/her body mid-fall, which can result in the worker falling on his/her chest, back or head. Any injury to the victim’s neck or back can lead to a spinal cord injury, which can, in turn, lead to paralysis
Safety Tips for Roofers: How to Stay Safe on the Job
Implement Ladder Stability and Safety Rules
If you’re going to be working on a roof, you’ll probably need a ladder. While ladders can be a great tool for getting to hard-to-reach places, they also raise the safety stakes considerably when not used correctly. When using a ladder, be sure to follow the ladder stability and safety rules.
- Always use a ladder that is the correct height for the job. If it’s too short, you could easily fall off the roof. If it’s too tall, you could lose your balance and fall.
- Make sure the ladder is placed on level ground.
- Always face the ladder when ascending or descending. This will help you maintain your balance.
- Don’t use a ladder that is damaged or broken.
- Keep your body centered on the ladder while climbing.
- Use both hands to grip the ladder when climbing.
- Never stand on the top two rungs of a ladder.
Wear the Right Gear
In addition to following safety rules when using ladders, it’s important to wear the right gear when working on roofs. Here are a few items that you should make sure to have with you:
- Hard hat – A hard hat can protect your head from falling debris or objects.
- Eye protection – Safety goggles or glasses can protect your eyes from flying debris or chemicals.
- Gloves – Gloves can protect your hands from cuts and scrapes, as well as from chemicals.
- Rain gear – If it’s raining or snowing, you’ll want to make sure you have rain gear to keep yourself dry.
In a world where so much is going on, it can be easy to get distracted while working. However, when you’re working on a roof, it’s important to avoid distractions at all costs. Distractions can lead to slips and falls, which can easily result in injury.
It’s also important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Keep an eye out for holes, weak spots, and other hazards. If you see something that looks unsafe, report it to your supervisor immediately.
Have a Pre-Start Talk
Make it a point to have a pre-start talk with your crew before starting any job. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of the hazards associated with the job and knows how to stay safe.
- Never work when the roof is wet/slippery
- Always wear a harness
- Use caution when working near electrical wires
- Clear the roof of debris
- Use guardrails whenever possible
Seeking Workers Compensation Benefits for Roofing Injuries
Most roofing accidents lead to severe injuries, as discussed earlier. If you have suffered injuries in a roofing accident at work, you are likely entitled to workers compensation benefits to cover your medical costs and a part of your wage loss. Consult with an experienced St. Louis workers compensation lawyer to learn more about your rights and to ensure they are protected right from the start of your claim. Call the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.