According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, roofers have one of the most dangerous jobs in America. The data shows that there are 47.4 roofer deaths per 100,000 workers. This is much higher than the rate of many other construction worker deaths, which are nearly 17 deaths per 100,000 workers.
While all construction work is extremely dangerous, roofers are at increased risk for injury and death because they work at elevated heights. Whether it’s a commercial or residential building, roofers face hazards such as:
- Falling off the roof
- Falling off ladders or scaffolds
- Ladders and scaffolding collapsing due to defects, wear and tear, or improper assembly
- Lack of safety equipment and procedures
Any of these dangers can result in catastrophic or fatal injuries, including severe traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, crush injuries and spinal cord injuries.
Surviving families have options
Families of workers who are killed on the job can seek workers’ compensation death benefits. In some cases, they may also be able to file a wrongful death suit against a negligent third party, such as a contractor or equipment manufacturer.
A wrongful death suit will allow surviving families to pursue financial compensation that is in addition to any workers’ compensation benefits they receive. They may also be able to get compensation for their loved one’s pain and suffering, which is not covered by workers’ comp. Additional compensation may be critical to a family’s well-being after a fatal work accident.