Common Fatal Roofing Injury Accidents
5 Common but Fatal Injuries in Roofing Accidents. Today’s guest blog is by The Law Offices of Kennedy and Brown. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Pickering Roofing Contractors.
Working on roofs is one of the most dangerous construction occupations. Every year there are many cases, where a roofer loses his life given falling from a height and fatal injuries. As the roofers have to work high above the ground, the slip and fall injuries are very common. According to the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) Data Center study, fall from roofs accidents accounted for one-third of fall-related construction deaths between 1992 and 2009.
Injuries in Roof Falling Accidents:
An accident can happen any time that cause serious personal injury; even when the safety equipment is used. These accidents are most injurious to the victims. The victim survives the accident but often becomes disabled. Intense pain, broken bones, harm to various body parts and even death is the result. Minor injuries may cause extensive damage on the inside.
Few injuries that are sustained by roofers are as follows:
The most common injury in the roof fall accidents is a fracture. When the victim falls off the roof, or from height such as a ladder, and lands on a certain body part, the force, and pressure of body weight are so intense that it fractures the bone.
- Backbone Injuries:
Stress on the spinal cord turns into temporary or permanent paralysis in the later stages. Backbone injuries are also very common among roofers because their work involves lifting heavy tools and materials up and down the ladders. When they constantly lift weight or if the victim falls on the back, it puts a strain on the back putting the victim on high risk of back injuries, strain, and pain. As the spinal cord bears the network of nerves, they can also become damaged that consequently make the patient paralyzed in severe cases.
- Heat Stroke:
Apart from fractures and back injuries, heat stroke is also a common result of roofing accidents. The biggest cause of heat stroke is the sun exposure for longer hours which causes heat exhaustion, stroke, and sunburns. Heat stroke is considered as one of the fatal injuries because there is always a risk of death. Workers with lack of sun protection and sufficient hydration, are at higher risk of heat stroke.
- Toxic Fumes:
As the roofers have to work with various materials such as asphalt, the exposure to toxic asphalt fumes causes long term disease associated with breathing even cause cancer. There are certain physical conditions such as throat and eye irritations, headaches and fatigue are the results of constantly working with toxic fumes.
The most distressing and life-altering injuries a victim could suffer is paralysis. So much so that along with entirely changing their life, the victim also becomes unable to work. Added to it, the victim also needs lifelong assistance in carrying out daily activities.
There are a few subtypes of paralysis:
- Quadriplegia: Paralysis of both legs and arms
- Hemiplegia: Paralysis of the arm and leg one side
- Paraplegia: Paralysis of both legs, possibly the lower legs and even the pelvic area
- Monoplegia: Paralysis of one limb
The most common scenario is when the victim falls down and tries to grab something to avoid the fall. This can cause the body to twist causing him falling on head, chest or back. So, the injuries to the neck or back cause paralysis.
Given the circumstances, the roofers can seek workers’ compensation. This is done through a legal procedure where the victim or worker claims compensation for the damages or losses that include loss of wages, pain, and suffering, medical bills, doctor visits, etc.