Construction company owners and their employees in Florida sometimes become complacent about fall protection when workers move about on roofs. A fatal fall from a roof in another state underscores the importance of compliance with prescribed safety standards. The recent case report described an accident that claimed a workers’ life in 2017.
According to a Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation, a 20-year-old worker fell while working on the roof of a building. He had to move a lot of demolition debris on the roof and sat on a plastic bubble-shaped skylight cover. The firm’s owner heard the plastic cracking and saw the employee fall 30 feet before landing on a concrete floor.
The worker was reportedly rushed to a hospital by road and then transferred to another facility by air. Sadly, he succumbed to his injuries after suffering cardiac arrest during the emergency transport. The report mentions that the employer failed to equip the worker with fall protection, and also neglected to train the employee regarding fall hazards and roof safety.
The employer could have prevented this fatality by complying with the following safety standards:
- Establish and implement comprehensive health and safety regulations in writing.
- Include roof and skylight-related safety requirements, and enforce compliance.
- Provide adequate safety training in recognizing the dangers of roof work and how to mitigate them.
Construction company owners and employers in Florida should also ensure that all subcontractors and their workers understand the safety responsibilities. Workers who suffer fall-related injuries will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In cases where lives are lost, surviving family members may be eligible to claim death benefits through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider.