Salomon Cruz-Jimenez, 39, died from injuries suffered in a construction accident at a residential worksite after falling off the roof the morning of Nov. 16. According to a report in the Suffolk Times, first responders arrived at 3480 Orchard Street and found the victim unconscious. The worker had reportedly fallen about 13 feet off the roof.
Cruz-Jimenez had no pulse and was not breathing. First responders performed CPR and transported the critically injured worker to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The incident is being investigated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We offer our deepest condolences to the family of this deceased worker for their tremendous loss.
What Causes Falls from Roofs?
Here are some of the most common causes of falls from roofs:
Lack of proper training: When workers are poorly trained, they may not know how to protect themselves. OSHA requires companies to provide a training program for each worker who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program should enable each worker to recognize fall hazards and train them to minimize these hazards. Roof safety is the responsibility of parties including but not limited to construction companies, contractors, managing agents, property owners, etc.
Weather: The weather can often lead to unsafe conditions for workers on roofs. Some of the common hazards include slippery, wet or icy roofs, snow accumulation, dangerously hot temperatures and heavy winds. Any of these inclement weather conditions can increase the risk of a fall. Workers should have clear, safe paths when accessing the roof. Workers should not be made to get on the roof when weather conditions are dangerous and pose the risk of a fall.
Lack of fall safety equipment: Workers must not only be provided with fall safety systems such as harnesses, safety nets and guardrails, but they should also receive training on how to use such equipment.
Lack of proper access: When workers don’t have proper access to the roof — whether it’s for construction or maintenance — there is a greater risk of a fall. This risk is heightened when workers are required to carry out their tasks close to the edge of the roof. A roof walkway that is thoughtfully laid out incorporating handrails, ramps and stairways can help improve safety for workers.
NY Law Protects Construction Workers
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, in many cases.
Any worker — whether a roofer, ironworker, steelworker, carpenter, electrician, painter, bricklayer or any other type of laborer — who suffers a fall can seek workers’ compensation benefits. In addition, he or she 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. For over 51 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims get fair compensation for their losses.
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, lead poisoning and 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