All types of construction work involve a certain degree of risk, but certain areas prove to be more hazardous than others. According to a study conducted by the Center for Construction Research and Training Data Center, roofers are particularly at risk while on the job.
The researchers analyzed data involving construction workers who died while on the job between 1992 and 2009. In total, there were 20,498 construction worker fatalities during that period. Of those, approximately one-third was the result of injuries sustained during a fall.
According to the researchers, around one-third of all of the fatalities caused by falls were workers who fell off a roof. In fact, of all the fatalities suffered by roofers, 76 percent are caused by falls. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that roofers face significantly higher risks than other construction workers – roofers are three times more likely to be killed in an on-the-job accident than others in the construction industry.
The study also revealed that roofers working on residential buildings had a higher likelihood of suffering a fatal fall than those working on commercial sites. Although construction workers on residential buildings only account for 18 percent of fatalities in the construction industry, 34 percent of those who suffered a fatal fall were on a residential site.
When a worker suffers a fatal accident while on the job, his or her family may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation. Consulting with a skilled workers’ compensation attorney is a wise step under such circumstances.
Source: EHS Today, “Falls from Roofs Account for One-Third of Construction Fall Fatalities,” Laura Walter, April 16, 2013.