Falls from rooftops are a leading cause of construction worker fatalities in North Carolina and around the country. Construction site owners and supervisors will want to look over the following list because it gives the most common factors in rooftop falls.
Wrong use of roof safety gear
No doubt most employers provide harnesses and other basic safety gear for rooftop workers, but sometimes they are not used properly. Workers may use a long lanyard, for example, or anchor their railing poorly. The other equipment that they need to do their job may be in a dangerous place, too, raising the risk for an accident. Rooftop equipment should be accessible through non-slip walkways with guardrails.
Consider the nature of the roof
Some roofs by their very nature pose more safety hazards: for example, split-level roofs and roofs with a steep pitch. When shingles fall, they put workers in greater danger the steeper the pitch. For this and other reasons, workers need the proper fall protection equipment on these types of roofs.
Other roofs may be unstable, especially in the heat, or have a hidden skylight that could cause workers to fall through. Weather conditions play a large role in injuries, too, as roofs can get slippery in the rain or snow. Lastly, many accidents are due to a simple lack of training.
Consulting with an attorney
Any questions you have regarding workers’ compensation benefits and the place of negligence in a claim can usually be answered by a lawyer. For one thing, you won’t need to prove anyone’s negligence to be eligible for benefits, but your employer might try to deny them if you were clearly negligent yourself. If benefits are denied, you might want to have legal counsel when appealing the decision.