A construction worker in New York City can suffer a serious or even fatal injury as a result of a number of different factors. A victim can be cut by a power tool, struck by debris, injured by a fall, crushed by equipment or even electrocuted by power lines and live wires. Workers in the roofing industry face all these hazards on a regular basis. It is crucial that roofers understand their rights and legal options if they are injured at work.
Roofer accident statistics
In 2010, roofing installers held about 136,700 jobs. Approximately 67 percent of roofers were employed in the roofing contractor industry and 27 percent were self-employed. According to the US office of Labor Statistics (BLS), work-related injuries for roofing installers are among the highest of all occupations.
Ceilings are particularly dangerous due to the risk of falling from scaffolding, and ladders. In 2012, there were 838 deaths related to construction throughout the country. The fatal injuries involving commercial construction workers rose to 577, after five years of a downward trend. The number of installers of dead roofs at work increased by 17 percent in 2012, compared to 2011. In fact, roofers had the fourth highest rate of fatal workplace accidents behind the plane’s pilots, fishermen and forest workers.
The dangers of working on a roof
There are many potential hazards that roofers face, including, but not limited to:
- Inadequate support: Poorly designed and maintained buildings do not have roofs that are strong enough to support workers and equipment. A thorough inspection of the supports must be done before the workers are allowed to start working.
- Lack of safety devices: Workers should not be allowed to work on a roof and without guardrails or a fall arrest system such as a full body harness.
- Hazardous weather conditions: Roofers are often forced to work in adverse weather conditions. Supervisors should stop working when the winds pick up or when there is rain, lighting, hail or snow.
- Slips-and falls: All liquid spills on the roof should be cleaned immediately or marked with cones. If there is ice on the roof that can pose a slip and fall hazard, it should be cleaned before the workers climb.
- Dangerous power lines: Roofers run the risk of coming into contact with power lines. The workplace must be performed for such hazards before beginning the work of roofers.
- Uncovered holes: All holes or openings not covered such as skylights should be covered, at least temporarily. Otherwise, they can be a serious downside risk.
- Inadequate supervision: Coordination and communication are key to working safely on a roof.
- use of unsafe stairs: accidents with ladders are a major cause of roofer injuries. Defectively manufactured ladders or stairs that are unstable can lead to serious injuries in the workplace.
Injuries suffered in roof accidents
There are many different types of injuries that a roofer can suffer as a result of an accident. Some examples of injuries suffered in roofing accidents include:
- Bone fractures : Bone fractures usually occur in victims who have fallen from elevations. Multiple bony fractures often take a long time to heal. Workers may need several weeks or months of physical therapy and rehabilitation before they can return to work. In some cases, workers may not be able to return to work, especially if they have suffered severe bone breakage.
- Spinal cord injury: This can vary from a minor neck or back injury to a catastrophic injury that could leave a paralyzed roofer with a disability. Spinal cord trauma is often caused by a fall, especially when a roofer falls on his back.
- Burn injuries: Roofers handle a lot of chemicals during work. An accident can result in heat injuries and chemical burns. In addition to physical disabilities, these types of burn accidents can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement of the victim.
- Traumatic brain injury: This includes head injuries such as contusions and brain trauma from inflammation and bleeding in the brain. Head injuries are often caused by falls or falling objects in the head. Brain injuries can also be debilitating and catastrophic leaving the worker unable to make a living.
- Cuts, lacerations and amputations: Working with power tools exposes roofers to risks of cuts and lacerations. In severe cases, the roofer’s limbs may have to be amputated, he or she can not work leaving.
- Electrocution: One of the lethal risks facing roofers is the danger of electrocution. Roofers often work near power lines and this increases the danger of electrocution.
Investigation of roof accidents
Workplace accidents in New York are investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When a roofer is injured at work, a series of questions must be asked. Were there violations with respect to workplace procedures? Was the worker provided with the necessary safety equipment, such as harnesses, helmets, goggles, vests, safety nets, etc.?
Was the worker properly trained for the job? Did he or she receive sufficient training for the use of safety equipment and followed safety procedures? Was the accident caused by a defective ladder? Did you have negligence on the part of another contractor or worker that caused the accident? Was the worker adequately supervised? These are just some of the questions that should be asked during an accident investigation for roofs in order to determine precisely what happened and why.
Roof security advice
The majority of roofing accidents can be prevented. These are some of the safety measures that help prevent potentially fatal roof accidents.
- Only use a ladder that has been inspected and secured. Never use metal ladders that can conduct electricity.
- Inspect the condition of the roof. Workers should be aware of the weak points and the holes that can lead to the fall.
- Pass carefully. Just walk in hallways or surfaces that are designed for special walking.
- Never stretch too much. That it expands when climbing is not simply safe.
- Keep a clear path. Remove equipment, tools and construction materials from walkways.
- Use all security devices. Roofers must use above all fall safety devices such as handrails, harnesses and nets. Use protective goggles to prevent eye injuries and helmets to protect your head.
- Recibir entrenamiento. Los trabajadores deben aprender no sólo cómo trabajar en un techo, sino también cómo mantenerse seguro mientras en el trabajo.
Qué hacer si se lesiona
If you have been injured, while you are doing roofing work, it is important to get first aid or other appropriate medical treatment immediately. The health professional who is treating you must be authorized by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board, unless it is an emergency situation. Workers can find a list of authorized providers by calling 1-800-781-2362. If your employer has been authorized to participate in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) or Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) program, you may be required to obtain medical treatment from a participating health care provider.
Also, if you are in need of diagnostic tests or prescription drugs, your employer or workers’ compensation insurance company may require obtaining the tests or your medication from a diagnostic network or designated pharmacies or a pharmacy network. with those who have a contract. The employer or the employer’s insurance company is required to pay the cost of the necessary medical services of the injured worker. Health care providers can request that injured workers sign Form A-9. This form is intended to provide notice to the injured worker that he or she may be responsible for paying medical bills if the Workers’ Compensation Board does not allow the claim or if the injured worker does not pursue the claim.
It is essential that you notify your supervisor about the injury and how it occurred as soon as possible. An injured worker who fails to inform his or her employer in writing within 30 days after the date of the accident that caused the injury may lose the right to workers’ compensation benefits. In the case of occupational disease, the notification must be given within two years after the disqualification, or within two years after the plaintiff knew or should have known that the illness was work-related, whichever is later.
Workers must also complete a workers’ compensation claim on Form C-3 and mail it to the nearest Workers Compensation Board office if there is a loss of time. If workers can not file a claim within two years from the date of the accident or disability from an occupational disease, they may lose their right to benefits. It is also recommended for injured workers to follow the doctor’s instructions, undergo an independent medical examination, if necessary, return to work as soon as they can attend the hearings and as required by law.
Document your losses
Workers must document all their losses, including emergency transportation costs, emergency room expenses, hospitalization, cost of medications, medical equipment, physical therapy, diagnostic tests, etc. Also, it would be beneficial to keep a diary detailing your physical and emotional state, you recover. you were unable to perform certain tasks as a father and husband – like playing with your child, caring for your child, mowing the lawn? These are the details that should go in your diary.
Social media and online activity
It would also be in your best interest to stop all online social media activity such as Facebook and blogs etc, but do not delete what is already online if you have a case in the state of New York, and that may be the Case in other states too. Remember that insurance companies may use information from messages, photos or videos on their sites to reject your claim or minimize the value of your claim. Do not write about your case in a blog or discuss the details of your case in any other online forum. They can even use photos taken before their accident against them. Google yourself and discover what information there is about you.
Immediately after an accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who will advise you on social media and who will help you prepare your claim, explain the process and ensure that your rights are protected at each step of the process. path. What you do in the weeks and months after your work injury can certainly affect your personal and financial future.
Third party claim
The compensation benefits usually cover the medical expenses of the injured worker and a portion of the lost wages. However, in many cases this is not enough to cover all expenses for injured workers and their families. In some cases, the injured worker may also be able to present what is known as a third party claim against a party other than the employer for significant monetary damages. Examples of responsible third parties may include general contractors, subcontractors, building owners, manufacturers of defective products, etc. For example, if a roofer was injured when falling from a faulty ladder, then the manufacturer of the defective ladder can be held responsible. If a dangerous condition on the property caused the accident, then the owner of the property may be financially responsible. Victims of injured roofing accidents can claim compensation for damages, including, but not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Salaries and lost benefits
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Permanent injuries
- The loss of livelihoods
- Future income lost
- The pain and suffering of the past and the future
Contacting a New York lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, experienced personal injury lawyers in Kenneth A. Wilhelm’s legal office can help you better understand your rights and legal options. Our law firm recovered $ 3,375,576 for a construction worker who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York in 2010.
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 lawyer fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 states of the United States, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other telephone numbers at no cost to us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, or 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com