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How Do Roofing Accidents Happen?

Roofing accidents are common among Texas workers, and the effects of these accidents are too dangerous to ignore. The injuries sustained in roofing accidents are life-altering and often fatal – from paralysis to broken bones, roofers are subject to severe risks. These accidents can take place on both commercial and residential properties and occur throughout the year.

Roofing Accident Statistics

Roofing accidents are frequent throughout the United States. According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Over 150,000 roofers require medical attention for roofing accidents annually.
  • Over 97% of all roofing accidents happen at home, suggesting that professionals are not the only ones affected by these incidents and industry safety standards are vital in protecting roofers.
  • 24 out of every 100,000 professional roofers die from roofing accident falls.
  • 52 out of every 10,000 professional roofers suffer injuries from roofing accidents.

All roofers must have fall protection whenever they are above 6 feet off the ground. In addition, roofers must have fall protection when they are working on walkways, hoist areas, ramps, overhand bricklaying, runways, and unprotected sites.

Common Causes of Roofing Accidents

Certain factors contribute to roofing accidents more often than other situations. Many roofers face these risks on a daily basis due to the nature of the job.

  • Weather conditions. Roofers often have to work in extremely hot conditions and face the sun beating down on them while they are on the roof. As a result, roofers can develop heatstroke, sun burns, and other heat-related conditions.
  • Lack of safety equipment. Roofers must have appropriate safety equipment in certain conditions and while working on a roof. Without this equipment, roofers can slip and fall off a roof.
  • Roofers often work with electric materials and wiring while completing their jobs. Live wires and other situations can electrocute the roofer, causing severe burns and other injuries.
  • Scaffolding collapse. Roofers use scaffolding to climb onto a roof and reach high places while working. If a scaffold is not properly set up and collapses underneath the roofer, a roofer can fall and suffer severe injuries.
  • Roof collapse. A roof can collapse underneath a roofer when he or she is standing on top of it. As a result, the roofer can plummet into the house and onto the floors below, hitting dangerous objects and sustaining severe injuries.
  • Falling debris and objects. Roofers can suffer injuries even when they are not on the roof. Falling debris and objects from the work happening above can hit roofers on the ground below, causing head injuries.
  • Slips and falls. Rain, leaves, and other materials can cause a roof to be slippery, increasing a roofer’s risk of slipping off the surface. Roofers can also trip over uneven surfaces and tools on the roof and fall off.
  • Malfunctioning equipment. Any tools and other equipment that roofers use can cause injuries to a worker, from electrocution injuries to lacerations.

Common Roofing Accident Injuries

  • In Texas, some areas can reach high temperatures of well over 100 degrees. High heat and heavy physical activity are dangerous when combined. Roofers who work in these conditions can develop heatstroke and severe sun burns.
  • Repetitive motion injuries. These injuries are common in most professions. When a roofer performs the same basic motion over and over again, he or she can develop nerve damage and tendinitis. From hammering to bending and carrying heavy loads, roofers can develop painful injuries.
  • Fall impact injuries. The most common roofing accident is a fall from a roof. Falls are extremely dangerous, causing broken bones, head trauma, and torn ligaments. Falls can lead to permanent damage such as spinal cord injuries and paralysis.

The injuries sustained by roofers in these situations can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Without quick medical attention, many roofers can die as the result of their injuries.