Roofing—whether commercial or residential—is an incredibly hazardous job. Workers are required to work at dangerous heights—often in the scorching heat—and engage in heavy lifting, bending, kneeling, and frequent climbing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 133,000 roofers were employed in the United States in 2012, with 28 percent of them being self-employed. Not surprisingly, roofers suffer a higher rate of injuries and deaths than the national average for other workers.
Five Reasons Roofers Are Injured on the Job
Unfortunately, employers do not consider their roofers’ safety enough, and safety precautions that could prevent accidents are lacking. Common causes of roofers’ injuries include:
- Falls. Falls are one of the “fatal four” causes of construction workers’ deaths. When employers fail to provide required safety protections—such as fall protection systems and guard rail systems—roofers can fall from dangerous heights with deadly results.
- Falling objects. Being hit by falling objects is another leading cause of construction workers’ deaths. When tools and materials such as debris, construction materials, ladders, parts of scaffolding, bricks, and mortar are not secured, they can fall onto unsuspecting roofers—causing life-altering injuries and deaths.
- Tools. Roofers work with many potentially dangerous tools, like nail guns, hoists, electrical drills, circular saws, and power roof cutters that can cause serious injuries—including amputations—if workers are not properly trained in their use and provided with safe work areas in which to use them.
- Heat exposure. In the summer months, roofers must work in extreme heat—sometimes over 90 degrees—for long periods of time, resulting in them suffering serious dehydration and other heat-related illnesses.
- Electrocution. Another one of the “fatal four,” electrocution is a danger roofers face if their metal ladders come in contact with power lines or they are exposed to other electrical hazards.
Roofers who suffer injuries or death may be entitled to benefits under workers’ comp—if their employer provides workers compensation. In Texas, many employers have opted out of this. However, workers still can hold their non-subscriber employers responsible and could be entitled to compensation for their lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering.
If you or a family member was injured in a roofing accident, check out our Testimonials to see how we’ve helped people like you. Then start an online chat to learn about the compensation you could be entitled to and how our experienced legal team can help you.