Working as a roofer can be considered a dangerous vocation. Roofers are at a higher risk of falls and back injuries. Other injuries that are common to roofers range from minor to severe and can include:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Back Injuries
- Electric shock due to faulty equipment
Roofers can also be exposed to various toxins and chemicals which have been known to harm your health such as PAH(polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Symptoms of harmful exposure include:
- Skin reactions
- Lung damage
In the event of any accident at work we always advise you seek medical attention first. Make sure your accident is recorded in the accident book if not at the time of accident then as soon as possible afterwards.
The accident book is very important when making a claim for compensation. Although the compensation is not dependant on an entry in the accident book it will certainly help us to present your case with as much evidence as possible.
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Roofers are usually working at heights, creating quite a risk of falling from heights, which can cause severe injuries such as broken bones. This considered, the correct safety equipment should be provided by your employer to help prevent these injuries occurring, such as scaffolding and cherry pickers, to name a few. A risk assessment of the site must also be carried out prior to starting a new job, and each job will have individual safety requirements of which your employer must ensure are met.
Things like blow torches, blow lamps, bitumen and compressed gas are also needed for certain roofing jobs, and can cause serious buns and scalds. It is vital that all employees using these pieces of equipment are fully trained in using them and the efficient personal protective equipment is provided. This includes protective boots, safety gloves, safety glasses, long trousers and long sleeves.
Objects falling from above are another common cause of injuries amongst roofers. In order to reduce the risk of injury, sufficient waste chutes should be provided as well as a safe transportation method for transporting objects from the roof to the ground and vice versa.
From time to time, roofers may also be expected to manually transport heavy objects from the ground to the roof and vice versa, which is hazardous, especially in the limited space, and the heights of which roofers work. Common injuries caused by carrying heavy objects are strains, and damage to muscles. Furthermore, carrying sharp objects could result in cuts and lacerations.
As an employer, you must make it certain that all workers are aware of the correct way to manually handle heavy objects to ensure that no injuries are obtained due to your own negligence.
Roofers working on older buildings are also at risk of obtaining asbestosis and asbestos related illnesses, if the building is contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos related illnesses can be extremely severe and can progress onto illnesses such as lung cancer, and in the worst case scenario, can even result in death.
If you have been injured in the workplace due to any of the above circumstances, you could be eligable to make a claim for compensation. This requires adequate evidence that your employer or another colleague is held responsible for your injuries.