Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry and according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than a third of all fall deaths are falls from roofs. Roofers also face additional hazards such as electrical lines, power tools, weather conditions, and repetitive motion injuries. To stay safe while working or repairing roofs, workers should keep the following in mind:
- Eliminate fall hazards: Use a high-quality, sturdy, and reliable ladder. Ladders should be clean, dry, and inspected before each use to check for weak or broken parts and rungs. Always have three points of contact when climbing or descending a ladder and never carry a load that could cause a fall. Other sources of falls include unprotected holes or skylights and weak or damaged areas of the roof. Fall protection systems are essential for safety and must be inspected and checked before each use.
- Wear proper footwear: Steel toed boots with good treads will protect the feet from injury and provide good traction.
- Maintain a safe distance from electrical power lines: Contact with an electrical line could result in serious burns, shocks, fires, and even death. Following OSHA guidelines for working near electrical lines can prevent work injuries and fatalities.
- Exercise caution with power tools: While power tools are essential for roof work, they are also hazardous when improperly used. Nail guns, drills, and other power tools can cause serious injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations, and eye injuries. Tools should be well maintained, and cords should be kept neatly to prevent tripping or slip and fall accidents.
- Be prepared for weather conditions: Extreme heat and extreme cold are both a problem for roofers. Workers should receive training on the hazards of extreme weather conditions and how to prevent heat or cold related injury and illness. Training should also include how to recognize the symptoms of weather induced injuries and illnesses so that workers can watch out for each other while on a roofing job. Wearing the proper protective clothing and staying hydrated can help prevent heat and cold related injuries.
- Remain aware of risks of repetitive motion injuries: Repetitive motion injuries develop in workers who perform the same tasks with the same muscle groups day after day. This is true for roofers who may suffer carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or musculoskeletal disorders such as herniated or slipped discs. These conditions can have long term effects like chronic pain. Workers should seek treatment early to avoid serious or aggravated injury to the affected area.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich & Sweeney, LLC Represent Injured Roof Workers
If you are a roofer who has been injured on the job, contact the West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC for help getting your benefits. Call 610-594-1600 today or inquire online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we proudly represent injured workers in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Reading, Morgantown, and Lancaster County.