The end of summer can bring extremely severe weather to the Baltimore area. And severe weather also brings an increase in residents looking to clean up after storms and fix damaged exteriors of their homes.
Whether residents only look to fix storm damage or re-shingle their entire roof, this season can mean a lot of jobs for roofers across the state. However, roofers must ensure they take great care to optimize their safety and avoid serious injuries.
Roofers face a high fatality rate
The construction industry is full of high-risk jobs, but roofing is one of the most dangerous. Most roofing workers know about the risks they face. After all, working at a great height is one of the most common safety hazards for all workers.
However, a 2019 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that roofers have a fatality rate 10 times higher than the average rate of fatalities across all industries. By the numbers, the average fatal injury rate for all industries is 3.5 out of 100,000 workers.
For roofers, that rate is 51.5 per 100,000 workers.
Remember: Safety equipment is essential
For years now, roofing has been included on the list of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. And yet, according to a 2017 report, one in four construction workers who suffered a fatal injury from a fall were not using a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) at the time of the accident.
Unfortunately, it is easy for experienced workers to form bad habits over the years, but roofers should make sure they:
- Inspect sites and assess hazards before beginning work
- Set up guardrails, PFAS and other safety equipment properly
- Review safety training as needed, and stay updated on new guidelines
- Keep an eye on the weather when working at a height
Roofers must not overlook the use of safety equipment – especially during and after storm season.
The Maryland Workers’ Compensation Act covers workers, regardless of fault. While there are exceptions to the compensability of an accidental injury, should a worker experience an injury on the job, even if they failed to take the best safety precautions, they still should contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney to discuss whether or not there is coverage available.