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A Look at Rooftop Fall Risks at NY Construction Sites

February 19, 2018 Construction Accidents

Falls are a big risk for construction workers and others who work at a high elevation. If a fall injury happens, it is important to contact New York City construction accident lawyers for assistance as soon as possible. Benefits can be available to injured workers who suffered injuries due to a fall. If the fall is fatal, family members may also be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation.

Although the law ensures workers can obtain benefits when falls happen, prevention of falls is important because injuries are often serious or fatal. Safety BLR indicates that a total of 849 people were killed at work from falls, slips and trips. Any worker who is working more than four feet above a lower level that he could fall to is potentially at risk of getting hurt, and construction workers who spend their days working on a roof can be at even bigger risk.

Reducing the Risk of Rooftop Falls

According to Safety BLR, when a construction worker is working six feet from the edge of a roof or less, the construction worker should be protected by some type of safety equipment. Depending upon the circumstances, this could include a safety net, guardrails, or a personal fall protection system.  Travel restraint systems are among the personal fall protection systems that construction workers may use on roofs when performing work.

Safety BLR also indicates that different precautions may be taken when a construction worker is working 15 feet or more away from the edge of a roof. If workers are on a roof but are at least 15 feet from the edge of it, a designated area can be created using ropes, chains, or wires to demarcate where the designated area begins and ends. As long as employees stay within the designated area, they are not required to have personal fall protection equipment. However, if they step outside of the designated area, such equipment becomes necessary.

According to Safety BLR, when there is a designated warning area, a line made of ropes, chains, or wires needs to be between 34 inches and 39 inches from the working surface. It needs to be visible from anywhere in the designated area where employees are working without fall protection and it also needs to be visible from 25 feet away.  It needs to be supported so that pulling on one side doesn’t affect the other sides, and it should be located between 34 and 39 inches from the area where construction workers are working.

Equipment and tools being used to perform work need to be in the designated area, and Safety BLR warns that workers should not get complacent and assume they cannot fall just because they’re within the designated area.

If workers do suffer a fall on a construction site, it is important for the injured victim or his family to contact New York City construction accident lawyers for help as soon as possible. An attorney can help to pursue a workers’ comp claim so you can get medical benefits and other costs covered.