The Occupational Safety and Health Administration places the burden of protecting workers from harm on employers. They could face OSHA fines and citations for unsafe facilities. Of the thousands of workplace fatalities nationwide every year — including in Arizona — many involve roofing accidents that could have been prevented if property owners had adequately maintained their buildings.
In any event, employers must comply with OSHA regulations to prevent workers from falling from ladders or roofs, through skylights, hatchways or other hazards on rooftops. Whenever employees access roof environments, they must be equipped with personal protective equipment such as fall protection. Furthermore, each worker must be adequately trained in the proper use of a fall harness and the safe securing of lanyards to anchor points.
To prevent injuries, only trained or experienced workers must be allowed to work on roofs, and openings such as hatchways, vents and skylights must be identified and fitted with guardrails. According to OSHA, guardrails must still be installed, even if the roof has parapet walls — except when the walls are higher than 39 inches. The safety agency says it is also vital to have emergency plans in place, to ensure paramedics will have quick access to any victim of an injury or medical emergency.
Arizona workers who are suffering the consequences of roofing accidents may be unable to return to work for some time, and the mounting medical bills and loss of income will likely cause concern and even anxiety. Fortunately, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can start the ball rolling to claim workers’ compensation benefits as soon as the injured worker has reported the injury to his or her employer. Benefits typically cover those losses, and if a permanent disability is caused, additional benefits may be awarded.
Source: facilityexecutive.com, “Rooftops Present Big Risks,” Dan Hannan, Jan. 11, 2018