A significant number of workplace accidents in California involve the lack of adequate safety standards. Roof workers often rely on their employers to provide the necessary fall protection. Unfortunately, not all employers prioritize employee safety, which is likely reflected in the number of workers’ compensation claims that are filed each year.
Safety authorities say roof fall protection is classified as passive and active. Passive protection involves guardrail systems and other safety devices that are installed to prevent falls, and active protection includes lanyards, harnesses, horizontal lifelines and anchor points, which are all safety devices connected to the workers. Employers must assess each roof to determine their unique hazards before work proceeds.
Matters that will affect the choice of protection include the roof’s height, slope and accessibility. Any skylights or other penetrations that pose fall hazards must be considered, along with whether guard rails, roof anchors and tie-off points exist. The conditions of existing points must be examined to verify their strength and stability, and be replaced if necessary.
The consequences of a roof fall could leave a worker with life-changing injuries, which could include traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, spinal cord damage and more. The California workers’ compensation system will provide financial support, but dealing with the benefits claims process while nursing severe injuries could be a daunting prospect. Fortunately, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can take over and work to obtain maximum applicable benefits for the injured worker. Typical compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages, but additional benefits might be awarded for those whose injuries resulted in permanent disabilities.