New York Construction Site Roof Accident Attorneys
The private construction industry sector accounts for the highest number of workplace fatalities in New York City, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Fatal Occupational Injuries in New York City – 2017 findings. Construction workers are at the most risk of fatal falls from heights, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In fact, they are seven times more at risk of falling from height and that fall resulting in death than other industries. According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of fatalities in construction site accidents, and they account for about one-third of all fatalities in the construction industry.
Each day, between 12 to 13 U.S. workers die as a result of a traumatic injury on the job, according to the NIOSH Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program (FACE). More than half of the workers killed lacked access to fall protection – according to the Center for Construction Research and Training. In analyzing 768 construction industry fatalities between 1982 and 2015, researchers found that 42% of the fatalities involved falls, 54% of the workers killed had no access to a personal fall arrest system, and 23% had access to a PFAS but did not use it.
In 2014, 660 workers died from falls due to height, and 49,210 were injured badly enough that they required days off from work; many of said workers suffered a traumatic brain injury due to falls, according to the National Safety Council. OSHA reported that in 2017, out of 971 construction fatalities, there were 366 fatal falls to a lower level.
The sad fact is that falls from or through roofs on construction sites in New York can cause devastating injuries for construction workers, even fatalities in severe circumstances. Even if the accident does not result in death, construction workers may be left with lifelong injuries that can negatively impact their ability to work or take care of themselves and their families. Whether it be for a few months during recovery, years of rehabilitation, or forced early retirement due to injury, construction site accidents can negatively affect construction workers’ livelihoods and ability to earn a living for the remainder of their lifetimes.
Fall protection can help reduce the severity of a roofing accident. OSHA says that fall protection procedures are required when construction workers are working at heights of 6 feet or more above a lower level.
For roofing work, OSHA outlines procedures that must be in place. “A low-slope roof has a slope less than or equal to 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal). When engaged in roofing work on a low-slope roof that has one or more unprotected side or edge 6 feet or more above lower levels, workers must be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, a combination of conventional fall protection systems and warning line systems, or a warning line system and a safety-monitoring system. OSHA also notes that a warning line system is not mandatory when working on low-slope roofs 50 feet or less in width. When working on a steep roof, with a slope greater than 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal) and with one or more unprotected side or edge 6 feet or more above lower levels, each worker must be protected by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
Even if these protocols are in place, human error can account for an unavoidable trip that may become a traumatic accident or even a tragedy. Most roof accidents can be avoided if appropriate safety measures are instituted and upheld. Roof safety is the responsibility of the construction workers on the job site, as well as the site managers and employers.
Construction workers are expected to be adequately trained in fall protection, which can include instructions on safety regulations and standards and training in the use of safety equipment.
Employers are responsible for providing training and refresher courses to workers on fall protection.
Unfortunately, safety violations are not uncommon and injuries do occur due to employer or contractor negligence. In some instances, there may be other responsible parties for an accident, including outside vendors, leasing companies, equipment designers, manufacturers, or subcontractors.
If you or your loved ones have been injured on a construction site in New York due to a roofing accident, contact us at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your legal rights and options in this situation.
Causes of Construction Site Roof Accidents in New York
New York is home to many different types of building structures, from single-family homes, high-rise apartments, office buildings to skyscrapers in New York City. Every year, numerous new structures are being built or renovated to meet the state’s growing needs. Another risk construction workers face on roofs is working on buildings or roofs that are only partially constructed or completed, which can lead to the roof, wall, or ceiling to collapse.
Roof falls can pose tremendous dangers to workers on construction sites in New York and New York City. Across the state, roofers risk their lives each day to perform their work duties on roofs. In this competitive and driven market, construction workers may face pressure from supervisors to cut corners or rush to meet deadlines, sometimes leading to injuries and death.
In New York, there are laws in place that provide construction workers with regulations to enable safe working environments. And in the event of injuries due to negligence, construction works may be entitled to compensation for their injuries, damages, or death.
Under the New York Labor Law 240, “Scaffold Law” provides protection for construction site workers who are at risk of falling and sustaining “gravity-related injuries” while performing their work duties. This law places the liability for falls with the construction company or building owner and requires the responsible parties to create safe working conditions to prevent falls, such as utilizing scaffolding with safety rails and to bear weight equal to four times or greater than the weight of workers and their necessary materials.
New York Labor Law 200 is another law that protects construction workers working on construction sites. It ensures that employers and contractors provide safe working conditions for all workers and employees, and in the event of injury, employers and contractors are held liable for injuries.
Some common construction site roof accidents are due to:
- Workers fall off a roof
- Objects that fall off a roof, such as tools, buckets, other work materials, or debris, onto workers below
- Workers fall through a roof
- Workers fall due to improperly secured or constructed ceilings or walls
- Improper or malfunctioning equipment leads to falls or roof collapse
- Roof collapse due to duct or plumbing issues
- Burns due to working with hot tar or other equipment
- Electrocution due to overhead power lines, wiring, or transformers
Contact a New York Construction Site Roof Accident lawyer of Hach & Rose, LLP, by calling (212) 779-0057 today if you have any questions or need legal advice.
Common Construction Site Roof Accident Injuries
Construction workers in New York are injured in roof accidents every year. And due to the significant heights that workers can be located, falls from roofs or objects that fall from roofs onto workers below, can be severe or fatal in more catastrophic instances. Depending on the height of the fall and if some or no safety precautions were in place, the severity of injuries can vary greatly.
Common construction site roof accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Joint injuries
- Bruises and lacerations
- Tissue damage
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Other internal injuries and organ damage
Even a seemingly minor accident may cause more serious complications months or years down the road, so it is essential to seek medical care following the incident to ensure that you do not have more severe unknown injuries or internal bleeding that are not visible. These medical records are also important to obtain when pursuing a legal case against the construction company in the future.
If you were the victim of a construction site roof accident due to a construction company’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim against the construction company.
You May Be Able to Recover Damages for Your Construction Site Roof Accident
If you or your loved ones have been injured in a construction site roof accident in New York or New York City, you may be able to recover damages due to:
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Lost limbs
- Permanent injury or disability
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Current and future medical bills incurred
- Wrongful death
- Funeral costs
If you suffered injuries due to a roof accident on a construction site, the construction company may be liable for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages, among other expenses that may have been incurred after your injury.
However, when pursuing a civil lawsuit against a construction company, manager, or contractor, it is necessary to prove negligence—someone acted in a way that goes against what a reasonable person would have done in the same situation—and liability—the act of negligence directly contributed to someone else’s injuries. In some instances, it may be the injuries may be the responsibility of other parties including landowners, developers, architects, tenants, construction companies, equipment manufacturers, and insurance companies.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you have a case against a construction company for injuries sustained. Contact a New York construction site roof accident victim lawyer of Hach & Rose, LLP, by calling (212) 779-0057 today if you have any questions or need legal advice. Our lawyers are experienced at understanding the construction site accident laws in New York and understanding your legal rights after a personal injury.
We have received millions of dollars for clients who were injured in a construction site roof accidents in New York. One standout case involved a carpenter who was injured after falling from a temporary roof. Our team of lawyers helped the carpenter receive justice for his injuries in the amount of $3,475,000.
Our attorneys have been able to successfully obtain personal injury awards worth millions of dollars for other injured New Yorkers who suffered injuries in construction site roofing accidents and may be able to do the same for you if you’ve been injured in an accident. Contact a New York personal injury attorney of Hach & Rose, LLP, by calling (212) 779-0057 today.