Roofers and waterproofers work in the construction field and they perform physically demanding tasks which involving routine exposure to chemicals, toxic materials, the elements and heights. Employees within these professions face a substantial risk of workplace injury necessitating workers' compensation benefits.
If a roofer gets hurt while performing any type of work tasks, it is important for that injured employee to know and appreciate the applicable legal protections. If the worker is killed while doing roofing or waterproofing work, the family of the victim is likely entitled to benefits also.
An experienced workers' compensation attorney can provide assistance in making a work injury claim and proving eligibility for benefits by showing injuries sustained were work-related.
Additionally, we can advise on the potential of third-party liability. These would be claims filed against third parties other than one's employer (who is protected from such claims via the exclusive remedy provision of workers' compensation laws). Examples might include:
- Product liability claims against makers of unsafe or defective products.
- Claims against other subcontractors for job site negligence resulting in injury.
- Premises liability lawsuits against the owner of the property who failed to address or warn about dangerous conditions on site.
What Types of Work Injury Risks do Roofers Face?
Roofers and waterproofers could get hurt in many different ways. The increased chances of an illness or injury for people within this profession have resulted in statistically higher mortality rates for unionized workers.
Some of the different health issues and injury causes affect roofers in disproportionate numbers compared with workers of the same demographic groups in other fields. A study from the American Journal of Industrial assessed the mortality rate of waterproofers and roofers and found:
- Roofers are statistically more likely to die of falls.
- Roofers are statistically more likely to develop various types of cancers, including cancers of the lungs, larynx and bladder.
- Roofers are statistically more likely to suffer from non-malignant respiratory diseases.
In all of the different categories of illnesses and injuries which were included in the research, roofers and waterproofers had a higher proportionate mortality rate. The increased likelihood a roofer will die of a fall should be clear to everyone because of the fact these professionals work at such high elevations. Many are surprised, however, about the higher rates of illnesses like cancer and respiratory problems.
These higher rates of illness occur because roofers are exposed to a variety of toxins. Examples include asbestos and fiberglass, which roofers commonly encounter when removing old roofs, as well as bitumens such as coal tar pitch and asphalt.
Roofers should be entitled to workers' comp benefits for work-related illnesses resulting from exposure to these or other toxins. However, it can be difficult to prove illnesses were actually work-related.
Contacting a workers' compensation lawyer is always important after suffering an on-the-job injury in order to protect access to benefits, but it is especially essential if your claim will be based on an illness which you could require help linking to your job.