Fall From Roofs

A young Asian builder falls from a scaffold at a construction site. An engineer supervising the construction came to the aid of a construction worker who fell from a height with hip and leg injuries.

Falls are among the top causes of workplace injury, according to surveys by state and federal labor and safety agencies and by private insurance companies. Construction and demolition work on rooftops puts workers at an obvious risk from falls due to collapses, slip-and-fall accidents, and other incidents causing falls through or off of construction site roofs in the New York / New Jersey metro area.

Contracting companies and property owners are required to provide safety equipment to prevent workers’ falls from roofs. But when safety devices aren’t in place or don’t function properly, workers fall and suffer serious injury or death. When this happens, those who neglect the safety regulations that they are required to follow should be held liable for the injured worker’s losses including recovery for expenses, pain, and suffering.


Falls from Roofs Frequent in NY / NJ Construction

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)  reported in its “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries In 2010” that the construction industry had the highest number of fatal workplace injuries in the private sector during the year. Overall, falls were the second most frequent cause of workplace fatalities from 1999 to 2010 after highway incidents (car accidents). Several hundred people die as a result of workplace falls, such as from a roof, each year.

The BLS reported in a 2010 report about workplace fatalities in New York City that falls to a lower level were the most frequently identified cause of death in on-the-job accidents each year from 1992 to 2010. In 2010, almost half of all fatal falls to a lower level happened in the construction industry.

The 2011 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index reported that falls to lower levels were the third costliest job-site accident in the nation in 2009.

In construction jobs like roofing, it is obvious that falling is a hazard, but many construction jobs can put a worker on a roof. It is easy for a worker to slip, or lose balance, and fall from a roof. It is also possible to be knocked off of a roof. This is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires safety measures when workers are on roofs. If the roof has a low slope, OSHA allows a variety of systems for preventing falls, including; guardrails, safety nets, personal fall-arrest systems (safety lines and harnesses, and/or warning line systems combined with guardrails, safety nets, etc.). On a steep roof, OSHA requires guardrails with toeboards, safety nets, or personal fall-arrest systems.

Because of the height, falls from roofs usually cause serious injuries, such as: broken bones, traumatic brain injury (TBI), back injuries, paralysis, or death. The New York Department of Labor says that the lowest return-to-work rates among injured workers filing workers’ compensation claims are in the construction industry.

Workers’ compensation benefits rarely cover all of an injured worker’s expenses for medical treatment and lost wages. Additionally, workers’ compensation does not address pain and suffering.

The Cakani Law Firm works with construction site experts, building engineers, and site investigators to discover what caused a worker’s injury, and who may be legally responsible. We also work with many doctors, surgeons, physical therapists, and hospitals to document the medical recovery an injured worker faces. Recovery after a fall from a roof is often lengthy, costly, and painful. Many fall victims never return to work.

A NY / NJ construction accident attorney at The Cakani Law Firm can help you recover compensation for your expenses and other losses, if you have been hurt in a fall from a roof as part of your employment as a:

  • Carpenter
  • Demolition worker
  • Electrician
  • Elevator worker
  • Framer
  • General laborer or helper
  • HVAC installer
  • Ironworker
  • Painter
  • Roofer
  • Welder
  • Worker on mobile scaffolds, mobile cranes, and cherry pickers
  • Or any other construction site employee

Contact Us for your free consultation at The Cakani Law Firm 1-212-962-0500