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Eric T. Chaffin
Eric T. Chaffin
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Why Are Some Builders Against Rooftop Workers’ Fall Protection?

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If you have ever seen a construction site or hired someone to build your home you have probably seen men and women scaling the rooftop working to put everything together. Did you ever think that wearing a hard hat wasn’t enough to protect them? Shouldn’t they have other protective measures in place in case they fall?

The United States Department of Labor Occupation Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) finds that each year falls “are the leading cause of worker fatalities.” More than 100,000 are hurt and between 150 and 200 are killed. That statistic is unsettling and should not be ignored. OSHA developed safety standards for the construction industry to try and prevent falls from happening.

OSHA requires “fall protection” in several areas including:

• Ramps
• Runways
• Excavations
• Hoist areas
• Unprotected edges and sides
• Roofing work
• Walking/working surfaces

The “fall protection” rule does not apply to workers who are “inspecting, investigating, or assessing workplace conditions prior to the actual start of work or after all work has been completed.”

Even with all of these rules in place, some contractors aren’t following them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, some contractors say protection from falls is “too expensive or can create new problems.” There are apparently officials and contractors in 7 states that have not followed the guidelines set forth by OSHA, including Arizona. OSHA recommended taking over construction workplace safety in Arizona because that state apparently didn’t require correct fall protection.

A Fall Results in Personal Injury, What’s Next?

If you work on a construction site, make sure that there is ample protection provided by your employer in case of a fall. Unfortunately accidents can still happen.

You need to make sure you have pictures of the location where you fell to show that there were no protective measures in place at the time of your accident. Keep any and all bills and letters from insurance companies that you might receive after your fall. Speak to your employer to make sure there is a record on file of the accident happening.

Call a personal injury attorney today for a free consultation. Falling in a construction site is not likely your fault and you deserve someone who can advocate for you and get you the compensation you deserve.

1 Comment

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    Mr. Chaffin,

    Your article references the September 28 article in the Wall Street Journal. The National Roofing Contractors Association has responded to this article which missed many important issues regarding fall protection and the roofing industry. Please see an excerpt from NRCA’s response on our blog.

    http://roofscoop.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/nrca-responds-to-the-wall-street-journal-article-on-roofing-safety/

    I am happy to forward you our response which was submitted to WSJ in a letter to the editor, but as of yet has not been published.