Have You Been Injured in a Roofing Accident in New York?

Roofers or workers who are carrying out roofing installations and repairs face a high risk of injury and death. A report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in December 2020 shows that the number of roofing fatalities reported in 2019 was up 15% compared with 2018. According to the National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, roofers accounted for 111 out of 5,333 on-the-job injuries in 2019.

This rise is worrying because in 2018, the roofing industry’s death rate was already at 51.5 per 100,000, making it one of the most dangerous professions. Fatality rates are also 13% higher among Hispanic or Latino workers, the highest it’s been since 1992 (when the report started being issued). A roofer on a residential or commercial worksite is approximately 15% more likely to die in a construction accident compared to someone employed in almost any other type of work.

Why is Roofing Hazardous?

Sadly, many roofers, including those who work on solar panel installation, work under dangerous conditions. Safety precautions that can prevent tragic accidents are lacking in many cases. Here are some of the common hazards those working on roofs face in New York:

Falls: Falling from heights is one of the most common causes of construction accident deaths not just in New York City, but nationwide. When workers are not provided proper fall protection devices such as harnesses, guardrails, safety nets, etc. roofers face a higher risk of suffering a fatal fall.

Falling objects: Being struck by falling objects such as tools or debris is yet another leading cause of construction workers’ deaths. When tools and materials at a worksite are not properly secured, they can fall on top of roofers, causing traumatic injuries or causing them to suffer a fatal fall due to the impact.

Tools and equipment: Roofers often work with a number of potentially dangerous tools such as saws, drills, cutters and nail guns, which may cause serious or even catastrophic injuries.

Electrocution: Because they work at heights, roofers are prone to electrocutions due to their proximity and exposure to power lines. When working on rooftops, workers are exposed to overhead power lines, building wiring and extension cords as well as power tools. The potential for a deadly electrical shock, burns and fires increases when proper precautions are not taken. One of the most common ways that electrocution accidents occur while roofing work is being carried out involves metal ladders coming in contact with power lines.

What New York Law Says

Construction workers in New York, including roofers, are covered by Section 240 of the New York Labor Law, which charges construction companies, contractors and other parties with the responsibility of providing workers with proper fall protection while constructing, demolishing, remodeling or doing other types of work such as roofing on structures. This law assigns strict liability for accidents to the parties responsible for assigning and managing the work.

Therefore, a worker who suffers a fall — including laborers such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, electricians, bricklayers, painters, etc. — can seek workers’ compensation benefits from his or her employer. In addition, workers and their families may be able to file a third-party lawsuit for substantial money damages against a number of at-fault parties, and thus have two sources of compensation.

Third-party claims are filed against parties other than the employer or co-employees and may include general contractors, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents, construction companies, etc. In cases where a worker dies from injuries suffered on the job, surviving family members may seek death benefits through workers’ compensation and/or file a wrongful death claim against a third party.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job — one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

Leave a Reply