Re-roofing may increase fall risks

Mar 11, 2020 | Personal Injury

To some degree, all roofers face fall risks. They have to work at heights on every single job. Even a short one-story home is tall enough that a fall could be fatal or could lead to serious injuries. 

However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration warns that re-roofing could be especially dangerous. This is the process of tearing off an old roof, perhaps due to age or problems with leaks, and replacing it entirely. It’s very common, as many roofs are rated for 20-30 years and many homes are far older. 

One potential problem is that demolition work is always dangerous. Re-roofing means carrying out these demolition-related tasks at least 10 feet in the air — and perhaps much more. It’s not exactly the safest place to use saws and other power tools. 

Roofers are also actively tearing up the surface that they’re standing on, potentially increasing their own trip and fall hazards. If they replace the sheeting under the shingles, for instance, that means prying up the old sheeting and removing it from the trusses. Every time this is done, it creates uneven surfaces. One wrong step on an uneven surface is all it takes to cause a serious fall. 

Furthermore, even those who work on the ground during these projects face some serious risks. They could be struck by falling tools or debris from the roof during the demolition process. 

Re-roofing is necessary, but workers also need to understand that it carries high safety risks and can lead to serious accidents. Those who get injured on the job must know about all of the legal rights that they have.