There are very few man-made buildings that are lacking a roof and the roofing industry is a busy one. Whether it’s putting a roof on a brand new building or making repairs to an older roof, roofers are almost never lacking for work. However, roofers do work in a very dangerous profession and unless certain precautions are taken, injuries are common.
The Most Common Injuries Reported By Roofers
Roofers, whose job is already inherently dangerous simply because they work high off the ground, are surrounded by dangerous tools and are expected to work in potentially dangerous conditions. The following are the most common injuries reported by roofers:
Each and every shingle that is placed on a roof is attached with roofing nails. While the nails can be driven in using a hammer, it is now much more common and efficient for roofers to use a nail gun.
There is always a risk of stepping on a nail or inadvertently placing a hand on one and causing a puncture wound, however, with a nail gun, nails can become lethal. If a nail gun misfires or is misused, the nail literally becomes a projectile. Roofers have died from having nails shot into their brains due to nail gun defects. Others have shattered bones, suffered serious nerve and tissue damage, or lost an eye because of an issue with a nail gun.
In addition to nails, other sharp tools and metals are common on roofing worksites, all of which have the potential to cause a serious puncture wound.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
In addition to penetrating brain injuries where a foreign object, like a roofing nail, enters the brain, closed brain injuries are also a frequent occurrence on roofing jobs.
Traumatic brain injuries are commonly caused when a roofer is hit in the head with a falling object, involved in an accident using heavy machinery, or when they slip and fall on the job. While some patients are able to make a full recovery, others suffer lifelong symptoms, including:
- Memory Loss;
- Speech Impairment;
- Behavioral Changes;
- Loss Of Fine Motor Skills.
The brain is so unique that two patients with nearly identical injuries will display very different symptoms.
When the vertebrae or spinal cord are damaged, a patient may experience:
- Partial Or Full Paralysis;
- Loss Of Fine Motor Skills;
- Constant Pain;
Repetitive Motion Injuries
When a worker makes the same motions over and over and over again, their joints are at risk of being damaged. Repetitive motion injuries are frequently diagnosed in the elbows, shoulders, and knees.
Although roofers generally do not work during the winter months, the summer months are very busy. Working in extreme heat comes with serious risks, such as dehydration, heat stroke, and severe burns. Workers should be given training on how to protect themselves during hot weather and should also be provided with necessary breaks, a place to cool off, liquids, and protective gear.
Lacerations may not seem like a big deal but if the cut is deep enough, the underlying muscles, tendons, and nerves can be permanently damaged. Additionally, secondary infection can land a roofer in the hospital.
If you’re a roofer who was hurt on the job, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Schuster Law.