Roofing is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous professions. Besides being a physically demanding job, it is also full of hazards that often put workers' lives at risk.
On top of that, employers and other contractors often enhance these risks through careless and negligent acts in an attempt to reduce costs and construction times.
Many roofers learn to do the job as they go without following an apprenticeship program beforehand. As such, they rely on their employers to provide the necessary training and supervision to conduct their jobs safely.
Sadly, this rarely happens, and workers end up injured, with costly medical bills, unable to work so they can provide for their families, and sometimes they even lose their lives in the process, leaving their friends and families heartbroken and looking for answers that may never come.
If you have been a victim of a roofing accident, it is vital to contact a personal injury lawyer for legal advice on what type of compensation claim you can pursue. It is best to do this as soon as physically possible while the evidence is easily found, clear, and people's memory is still fresh. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury is four years from the date of the accident, which means you have four years to file your claim, but, as previously mentioned, you do not want to wait that long.
What Type of Injuries Can Result From a Roofing Accident?
There are types of accidents that are not caused just by falls. Workers are often subject to heavy-lifting, long working hours that put excessive strain on their bodies and develop long-term back conditions. Let's look at some frequent situations below:
- Traumatic Brain Injury. Naturally, falls are the most common cause of injuries when working at elevated heights, and these often result in head trauma with long-term, life-altering effects. Many victims who suffer this type of injury will never return to their normal life.
- Spinal Cord and Back Injuries. A roofer's spine is also extremely vulnerable to damage when he falls from a roof or ladder, and usually, sustained injuries to the spinal cord present a high probability of partial or total paralysis.
- Broken Bones. Broken bones or fractures are common injuries among roofers who suffer a work-related accident.
- Puncture wounds and amputations. Roofers make use of powerful tools to do their job. These include nail guns and circular saws that can seriously injure the worker when not properly maintained or in the case of a malfunction. While some puncture wounds may not be severe, others may be life-threatening depending on the location and depth of the wound.
- Heat-stroke. Due to the nature of this job, roofers typically have to endure the crushing heat in summer months, often doing overtime hours to complete the project on schedule, leading to heat exhaustion, heat-stroke, severe sunburn, and other related conditions.
How Can the Employer Minimize the Risks of Roofing Injuries?
Employers are responsible for providing a safe environment for the workers, and failure to do so may render them liable for any injuries that occur on the site premises. Some of their responsibilities are listed below. Any construction job poses some risks, but when the proper safety procedures are in place and respected, these are lowered to a minimum or even eliminated.
- Securing the work area. The biggest risk comes from the possibility of falling from a height. Either from the edge of the roof or through holes, gaps, weak spots, and skylights in the roof. Proper guards, scaffolding, safety rope, and nets should be installed before doing any work on the roof.
- Providing workers with proper training. Roofers should receive adequate training for working at heights and job-specific tasks, especially in matters of safety measures.
- Conducting regular risk assessments. A competent person should carefully inspect the site, and the employer should take appropriate actions where irregularities or health hazards are found.
- Providing proper safety equipment. The type of equipment may be slightly different based on each project, but standard safety equipment for roofers includes safety goggles, protective helmets, gloves, tool belts, safety boots, and other protective clothing items.
- Provide proper supervision.
Can You File a Personal Injury Third-Party Claim?
If you have suffered injuries in a roofing accident, you may be able to pursue compensation for sustained injuries and losses.
Usually, these accidents result in large medical bills and the inability to work for prolonged periods of time, leading to loss of income, pain, and suffering that affects the victim but also puts his or her family in distress as well. In such circumstances, receiving proper compensation is vital.
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we specialize in personal injury law, and we can help you pursue your rightful compensation. You have a right to a safe work environment, and we can help you prove who is at fault for your accident.