According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more than one-third of fatal fall-related deaths in the construction industry in New York and across the country involve workers who fell from rooftops. Of course, many nonfatal construction injuries are caused by falls. For that reason, roof work is regarded as the most hazardous in the industry.

While the list of hazards is endless, some injuries have been identified as most common in roof work. Openings and roof edges without guardrails, improper ladder use and damaged ladders all cause falls. Excessive weight, whether due to equipment or workers, can lead to the collapse of unsafe structures. Extreme temperatures and high winds have also been cited for many roof-related accidents.

Electricity causes more than half of all construction-related deaths, many of which are caused by improper handling or use of electrical tools and equipment. Roofers are also exposed to the dangers of overhead power lines. Typical electricity-related injuries include burns, electrical shocks and deaths caused by electrocution. Last but equally dangerous is exposure to hazardous substances, which could include paint fumes, asbestos and other harmful chemicals.

All of these construction injuries are preventable by compliance with prescribed safety standards. Sadly, many employers prioritize profits instead of employee safety. Injured workers are likely eligible for benefits to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. The benefits claims process could be complicated, and many New York workers choose to utilize the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to navigate the proceedings for them. That allows them to focus on recovery and returning to work.