Roof work is no picnic. The harsh weather, the heights, and the physically demanding labor are enough to make anyone sweat. Safety is key on roofing job sites, as it’s one of the more dangerous jobs in America (and leads to some of the nastiest workplace injuries as well). Eight injuries are especially commonplace on roofing job sites:
1. Skylight Falls
Falling through skylights and roof openings by roofers, contractors, and property owners runs the danger of serious injury or death. A thousand skylight deaths are reported annually by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and hundreds more suffer severe injuries from falling. Are you a victim of a skylight fall accident or did a loved one pass away as a result of someone else’s carelessness? The personal injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can make sure that your family gets the money it is due.
2. Traumatic Brain Injuries
On roofing tasks, closed brain injuries also happen frequently in addition to piercing brain injuries, where a foreign object like a roofing nail penetrates the brain. A roofer is likely to sustain a traumatic brain injury if they are struck in the head by a falling object, hurt by heavy machinery, or falls while at work. Roofers may sustain traumatic brain injuries, which result in long-term alterations to their mental, emotional, and logical faculties, when they fall, either from the roof or a ladder, or are struck by items.
3. Amputation Injuries
Fingers and hands can easily become entangled in moving parts or slip into blades when using power equipment at great heights. This may result in an amputation, which not only irrevocably alters the life of a roofer but is also very expensive. The quality of life and ability to work of a worker can be severely impacted by even partial amputations, in which some fingers are amputated entirely while others are left attached.
4. Repetitive Motion Injuries
The danger of joint damage increases when a worker performs the same movements repeatedly. The elbows, shoulders, and knees are frequently diagnosed with repetitive motion injuries. Phalangeal tendonitis is a typical ailment that develops when the three phalanges in the finger overuse and become inflamed. When one of the two joints that attach one phalange to its neighbor is moved, this inflammation produces acute discomfort. In extreme circumstances, surgery might be necessary to address the tendon problems and enable a full recovery.
5. Burn Injuries
Roofers are susceptible to both contact and flash burns. Roofers who work too closely to the area where hot tar is being placed frequently suffer from flash burns. In hot weather, when roofers remove their gloves for greater ventilation and expose the skin on their hands to the air, contact burns are significantly more likely.
6. Inclement Weather Injuries
Even though roofers typically do not work in the winter, the summer season is extremely active. Risks associated with working in excessive temperatures include dehydration, heat stroke, and severe burns. Workers should be supplied with the appropriate breaks, a place to cool off, beverages, and safety equipment in addition to receiving training on how to protect oneself during hot weather.
7. Electrocution Injuries
Even though roofing is typically an electricity-free activity, electricity may occasionally be required to run power tools or conduct diagnostic tests. Working near electricity that is allegedly off is one of the largest risks in this line of work. Frequently, it may still be flowing along a metal wire or inside of another object, electrocuting careless roofers. Burns can result from electrocution even in ideal scenarios. In the worst situations, it is potentially fatal.
8. Heat-Adjacent Injuries
Roofers can experience heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and severe sunburn that could progress to skin cancer since they spend so much time outside in the heat throughout the summer. If you or a family member were hurt in a roofing accident, you might have to deal with high medical costs and long-term salary loss, that is, if you are even able to return to work. However, you might be entitled to demand compensation from your employer.
Prevention is Key
Taking all essential precautions is the greatest method to prevent injuries at work, and roofing is no different in this regard. Wearing a hard hat, putting on slip-resistant footwear, and thoroughly inspecting roofs before ascending them are some examples of this. Wearing safety goggles can also assist prevent eye injuries from flying glass or other debris during the course of employment. With the right legal help, you can gain restitution for any injuries you may have sustained on a dangerous or negligently run roofing job site.
For more information on workplace safety and accident prevention, check out the infographic below!
Infographic provided by Alliance Medication Services, a medication delivery service for injured workers