Today’s post comes from guest author Jon Gelman from Jon Gelman, LLC – Attorney at Law in New Jersey. I find this blog post from my respected colleague very timely, as it gets nicer in the Great Plains and more workers are outside. For those working at heights (and even those on the ground) please keep in mind that early spring rains and ever-present wind make safety equipment even more important. I, too, am happy that “OSHA is moving forward with enforcement against roofing companies,” according to Mr. Gelman. It can’t come fast enough. Please be safe!
Today I received an urgent call from attorney representing a client in New Jersey who fell from a roof. Before she told me the job description of the injured worker, now in a coma, I correctly anticipated that it was probably a roofer who had fallen from a roof, yet again.
This scenario has played out in workers’ compensation claims for decades. How the accident happened is usually an argument with the employer. The employer claims that the employee was either intoxicated or not following safety precautions. My instinct always tell me that this is probably incorrect, since roofers tend to lose their balance and fall for many other reasons, including “gravity.” Some reason a deprivation of oxygen and/or exposure to toxic neurological irritants contained in the roofing materials, and weather related events that make roofs slippery.