When you consider that the workers are moving across steeply slanted surfaces and performing jobs that require demanding labor in awkward positions, is it any wonder that roofing ranks sixth out of the top ten most hazardous jobs in the US? The fatality rate is approximately twice that of all construction work, with 29.4 per 100,000 workers. Additionally, roofers are nearly six times more likely to endure injuries than other workers.
About three-fourths of all deaths among roofing workers arise from falls. Another 11 percent come from electrocution, often from contacting overhead power lines. Falls and electrocution are two kinds of accidents that are most likely to cause death on construction sites. These two, along with being struck by objects and getting caught between objects, are known as the “Fatal Four” of the construction industry.
In South Carolina, roofing injuries and deaths occur with some regularity. It is likely that, in these cases, the worker could have survived or sustained less serious harm if they had been wearing the proper fall restraint gear:
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many kinds of training, processes, and varieties of gear can keep roofing workers safe. Most roofing accidents are preventable if the proper precautions mandated by law are followed.
The “top ten” OSHA citations given to roofing contractors, listed by number of citations during 2013, reflect negligence with regard to:
Because so many roofing deaths are due to falls, a number of regulations have been put forth to prevent them. Workers must be trained and, when needed, retrained to understand how to use various protection systems, including the processes of inspecting the equipment, erecting and disassembling it, and maintaining it. Training must include the use of a personal fall arrest system (PFAS). Rescue plans, warning lines, guardrails, and safety monitors are all needed parts of fall prevention systems.
Roofing contractors also need to have an emergency action plan and adequate first aid on-site.
If you have been injured on the job, or if you have lost a loved one, and you feel that the appropriate protections were not in place, you may want to obtain legal advice.
Since 1959, the Louthian Law Firm has helped South Carolinians win compensation for construction injuries and other serious physical damage. We know our clients often come to us during a stressful time in their lives. That’s why we promise our clients personalized service outside of court and experienced, aggressive representation at the negotiation table and at trial. We understand how the workers’ compensation laws work and know how to pursue third-party negligence cases aggressively. With us on your side, you can concentrate on getting better and going back to work while we help you collect the money you’re entitled to.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job in South Carolina, contact us as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. Call the workplace injury lawyers at the Louthian Law Firm at (803) 454-1200, or use our online contact form to schedule a free and confidential consultation.