According to Angie’s List, the peak season for the roofing industry is the summer. The rainy season is over, and despite the sweltering heat in our area, this is the time that most people decide to get their roofs repaired or replaced. While many roofers are happy to get the work, an increase in jobs may mean they are
putting their health on the line more frequently.
Last August, one roofer died and another was injured while they were working on the Minnesota Vikings Stadium, and OSHA has fined the construction and roofing companies almost $180k. Allegedly, these workers’ employers did not require them to use the proper safety precautions when working at heights of 6 feet or more above the ground.
Then, late last year a construction worker fell over 19 feet from a roof in Rhode Island. His employer did not report the incident to OSHA for more than a month after the injury took place, and had been cited several times in the past for not requiring the proper safety precautions for rooftop construction.
Roofing is one of the most dangerous industries for workers. That’s why we’re urging the hardworking roofers in our area to take extra precautions this summer. With the increase in roofing projects comes the increased risk of injuries–some of them fatal. Read on to find out what these injuries are and how they can be prevented.
Roofing Injuries By The Numbers
- Of the 20,498 construction fatalities that occurred between 1992 and 2009, a third of them were from falling accidents.
- Roofing workers are 3 times more likely to die from falling accidents than any other sector of construction workers.
- Roofing is the 6th most risky job in America.
Types Of Roofing Injuries
With injury rates this high, it should come as no surprise that the list for types of injuries is long.
- Spinal cord injuries
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Brain damage
- Heat stroke and exhaustion
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pinched nerves
Dangerous Roofing Practices
Employers who have their employees’ health and safety in mind will take precautions and make sure that their employees are avoiding all of the following dangerous roofing practices.
- Failing To Hydrate: Because roofing is at its peak in the summer, high heat warnings are all too common. Make sure that you drink plenty of water to avoid heat stroke.
- Lifting Materials Incorrectly: Like any other construction field, roofing involves lifting heavy materials from place to place. Employers should provide ample training on how to properly lift heavy materials so that their employees do not sustain muscle strains, pulls, and back injuries.
- Failing To Secure Oneself To The Structure: Working on a roof often involves doing physically taxing maneuvers and if one is not tied off to the roof, falling is a real possibility. Make sure your employer provides the equipment necessary for securing yourself to whatever structure you are working on, and provides the necessary training to use this equipment.
- Failing To Get Training On Dangerous Tools: Using a nail gun, a circular saw, or any other potentially dangerous tool carries its own risk on flat, stable ground. However, when using these tools on a roof that is still being constructed, these tools carry a greater risk and require separate, comprehensive training. Before using any tools on a roof, make sure your employer has provided you the necessary training to use these tools safely.
Roofing Workers’ Comp: Your Next Step After Injury
If you have been injured while at work, you should tell your employer as soon as it is safe to do so. By all means, take care of your health if you require immediate medical attention. However, you should tell your employer as soon as possible that you were injured at work.
It is also wise to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss how to proceed with your case, possible avenues of compensation, and items necessary for presenting your case. Please contact us for a free consultation. We are committed to helping you recover quickly while making sure your medical bills and lost wages are taken care of.