Working on a rooftop poses serious injury and fatality risks for workers who can fall through skylights, roof and floor openings, and guardrails.
Rooftop Workers Risk Deadly Falls
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, workplace falls are one of the most common types of work-related accidents, accounting for over 25 percent of workers’ injuries every year. Although many falls result in lacerations and broken bones, rooftop falls often result in spinal cord injuries, head trauma, brain damage, and death.
Rooftop workers have a high risk of death from falls. Rooftop maintenance and construction workers have increased risks of falling through skylights, roof and floor openings, and guardrails that are not properly protected. Work injury lawyers often file negligence lawsuits when workers are not given adequate protection equipment and safety training. Employers have a responsibility to provide rooftop workers with safety harnesses, screens and nets, and guardrails that prevent falls.
In some cases, rooftop falls may result in product liability lawsuits due to manufacturing and design defects or improper labeling on equipment. Most of these accidents happen due to safety harnesses that give out and break, guardrails and cages with damaged frames, and areas on rooftops that are structurally unsound. A worker who falls due to these conditions is likely to fall at least 10 feet or more suffering severe injuries, even death, especially when landing on concrete or hard ground below. A workers’ compensation claim will be necessary to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and possible surgeries.
If a rooftop worker is classified as an independent contractor, liability may fall to the building owner. Premises liability laws state that property owners must provide a safe and secure environment for people invited onto their property. In such cases, a work injury lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit against the building owner, since the worker is not covered under workers’ compensation insurance through his/her employer.
In rooftop falls and falls from elevated heights, severe injuries are common because workers often hit objects on the way down or land on a hard surface. Work injury lawyers often see severe back and spinal damage, as well as neck, head, and brain injuries. Many injuries from high-level falls result in long-term or permanent injuries and partial or permanent paralysis. If traumatic brain injuries occur, a worker may be faced with life-long impairments including cognitive dysfunction, physical immobility, and speech, vision, and memory loss.