Working on roofs is naturally dangerous work, and employers are responsible for taking all the necessary safety precautions to ensure that construction workers aren’t put at undue risk – when they work on roofs or anywhere else. If you’ve been injured in a roofing accident on the job, it’s time to consult with an experienced roofing accident lawyer in Florida.
Slip and Falls
Slip and fall accidents are some of the most common accidents on construction sites, and they are also some of the most dangerous. Slip and fall accidents from heights are the deadliest of all, and roofing accidents are a prime example. The injuries associated with roofing accidents tend to be exceptionally serious.
OSHA Weighs In
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) shares that, in the construction industry, falls are the leading cause of death, and that falls from roofs account for a good chunk of these fatal accidents. The fact is that those who work on roofs encounters all too many dangers on the job, including the following:
- The risks associated with working from heights and from working on ladders
- The risks associated with working with power tools and electricity in general
- The risks associated with hazardous substances
- The risks associated with extreme temperatures
It’s a lot, and unless these risks are mitigated by the employer, roofers are extremely vulnerable to serious illness, injury, and even death. OSHA confirms that employers do shoulder considerable responsibilities that include identifying hazards on the job and taking the steps necessary to address them. Consider the following important categories of responsibilities:
- Fall protection, including training requirements, systems criteria, and practices
- Ladder safety and ladder training requirements
- Eye and face protection
- Head protection
- General health and safety provisions
- General scaffold requirements
- Hazard communication
Planning, Providing, and Training
OSHA reports that falls can be minimized, injuries prevented, and lives saved when employers take the steps of planning, providing, and training seriously. This includes:
Employers are responsible for planning ahead to help ensure that the job is completed safely, including:
- Developing a plan that addresses the full scope of the job at hand
- Ensuring that the appropriate equipment and materials (including safety equipment) are available
- Ensuring that workers have the appropriate training (including safety training) necessary to get the job done safely
Employers are specifically responsible for providing the proper equipment that is necessary to get roofing jobs done safely, including fall protection and the appropriate ladders, scaffolding, and safety gear.
Employers are responsible for training their roofers appropriately, including in relation to safety, safety equipment, and hazard recognition. This involves taking on all the following responsibilities:
- Being familiar with and understanding OSHA’s fall protection standards for workers who are at risk of falling six or more feet
- Implementing safe work practices that help decrease the risk of falls
- Adequately supervising workers to help ensure that all safety equipment, including fall protection equipment, is maintained and used correctly
- Leading by example, which means ensuring that all their managers, supervisors, forepersons – and any other leaders they employ – follow all the safety rules that they are ultimately responsible for enforcing
Your Roofing Accident Claim
If you’re a worker who has been injured in a roofing accident, the damages – or losses – you suffer can be immense and will likely be addressed in a workers’ compensation claim. The steps forward toward recovery on your damages include:
- Seeking the immediate medical attention that you need
- Notifying your employer, boss, and/or supervisor about the work-related accident as soon as you are able to do so
- Consulting with a dedicated roofing accident lawyer in Florida – who will move forward with filing your workers’ compensation claim
- Carefully adhering to the medical instructions and advice provided to you by your attending medical team
When it comes to your health and well-being, time is of the essence and seeking the medical care you need when you need it is paramount.
In your workers’ compensation claim, you can seek compensation for:
- Your lost earnings (at a specific percentage of your regular pay)
- Your medical expenses, which can be not only extensive but also ongoing
- The cost of rehabilitative services
- Benefits related to any permanent injuries you suffer.
Ensuring that your total damages are well represented in your workers’ compensation claim is critical to allowing yourself the best possible opportunity to fully recover.
The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company
While the workers’ compensation insurance company is paid specifically to cover the losses you’ve suffered as a result of the roofing accident, this does not mean it is going to make obtaining just compensation an easy process. In fact, the insurance company is a for-profit endeavor that prefers to keep its profits high by keeping its accident settlements low. In its efforts to accomplish this, the workers’ compensation insurance company may engage in a variety of profit-bolstering tactics.
Offering Early Lowball Settlement Offers
The insurance company recognizes that you are watching your earnings dwindle while your medical costs mount, and in response, it may swoop in with a lowball settlement offer that it hopes you are desperate enough to accept.
Questioning the Extent of Your Injuries
The insurance company may cast doubt on the extent of the injuries you claim in an attempt to keep your settlement as low as possible.
Complicating the Process
Sometimes, insurance companies complicate and protract the claims process to the extent that claimants lose hope and are willing to accept far less compensation than the amount to which they are entitled.
You Need an Experienced Florida Roofing Accident Lawyer on Your Side
If you’ve been injured in a roofing accident on the job, the trusted roofing accident lawyers at Iscoe Law Firm – proudly serving Miami, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County – are committed to fighting for your legal rights and for just compensation that covers your complete damages. We are here to take your call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 800-800-6500 today.