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How can falls through roofs on construction sites be prevented?

When working on a construction site, you always have to watch where you step. Even if you are on the ground, it is all too easy to trip over something or even to fall into a ditch. But if you only fall a couple of feet, your risk of suffering a serious injury is relatively limited. This is not the case if you should fall from a great height. For this reason, it is critical to be aware of where you are stepping when you are working on a roof or an upper floor of a building.

Frequently, buildings that are under construction have holes in the floors or roofs. Roofs also frequently have skylights. A fall through an open hole or skylight could result in a worker dropping a significant distance before experiencing a hard landing.

As such, it is critical that precautions are taken to prevent workers from inadvertently falling through a hole or skylight. The following are preventative measures that can protect workers:

  • Whenever possible, workers should use appropriate fall protection.
  • Put up permanent guarding systems, or least temporary barricades, around skylights.
  • Use adequate covers or guardrail systems to cover holes. Also, use labels to indicate that a cover is obstructing a hole.
  • Be sure that covers guardrail systems are strong enough and constructed with materials that meet OSHA standards.

If a skylight or a hole is not properly covered or protected, it only takes one false step to send a worker plummeting through a floor or a roof. Such a fall could cause catastrophic injuries, leaving a worker in need of long-term care and treatment.

If you should fall while working on a construction site, it is important that you receive a level of workers' compensation that will cover your medical expenses and your time lost from the job. And an experienced workers' compensation attorney may be able to help you receive the maximum amount of money and benefits you need for your recovery.

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Success Stories

  • A 43 year old ironworker who fell four stories and sustained injuries to his ankle while installing a staircase settled his claim for $1,500,000.00. The accident was due to the failure of the building owner and general contractor to provide a safe place to work.
  • A construction worker operating an asphalt roller settled his case for $525,000.00 when the edge of the roadway he was paving collapsed into a trench being dug by a subcontractor causing him to sustain injuries to his leg.
  • A 54 year old commuter settled his case against the NYCTA for $1,200,000.00. when he tripped and fell on a subway platform due to the pavement being in disrepair, causing him to fall forward and to strike his head on a train pulling into the station.
  • The estate of a 64 year old woman received a settlement of $425,000.00 after she was struck and killed by a speeding tractor trailer while crossing the street at the intersection of Richmond Terrace and Port Richmond Avenue.
  • A $1,200,000.00 settlement was reached on behalf of a 54 year old man from Staten Island, New York, who, while in the course of his employment as a bus driver, was rear-ended on the Garden State Parkway and caused to suffer injuries to his back and neck as well as a fractured rib and fractured pelvis.
  • A 47-year-old building superintendent who sustained injuries to his head and right side of his body due to a tripping hazard at his job site received a settlement of $300,000.00 from the electrical company performing work at the site.
  • A 43 year old construction worker was caused to sustain injuries to his back, shoulder and hand when the elevator he was riding malfunctioned and dropped 8 floors. He received $350,000.00 in the settlement of his claim against the building owner, maintenance company and elevator company.
  • The administrator of the estate of a 69 year old man who suffered stage four pressure sores while a patient at a Queens nursing home settled the case for $400,000.00 after the man died.
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