Last updated on August 2nd, 2019
Working as a roofer is regarded as one of many high-risk professions. The fact that most roofing work is carried out at a considerable height above ground makes this an inherently risky job. Other dynamics that make the job particularly dangerous are the height of the job and the type of roof. The higher the roof, the more dangerous the job. Working on a sloping roof is several times more dangerous than working on a flat roof surface.
One of the legislations that govern the roofing industry is the Work at Height Regulations 2005. These regulations focus on the dangers of working at height and sets out detailed rules and guidelines on what employers need to do to ensure the safety of all roofers working on their roofing project. This covers employees as well as contractors who are involved in building new roofs as well as those involved in cleaning, inspecting, maintaining and demolishing old roofs.
If you are injured in a roofing accident, which was caused because of lack of precautionary measures, you may be eligible for compensation.
Work At Height Regulations 2005
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 is very clear about what measures employers need to put in place to ensure the safety of all workers who work at height. This includes roofers.
According to the Regulations, it is mandatory for employers to conduct a thorough risk assessment before starting work on any roofing project. This is because different precautionary measures may be necessary for different projects depending on the height of the roof from the ground as well as the type of roof and other factors. If an employer fails in their responsibility and a roofer gets injured as a result, the employer may be held liable and may be required to compensate the roofer for their injuries.
Employer’s Responsibilities To Roofers
While a few precautionary measures are dependent on the specific risks of the job, there are a few that are applicable to all roofing jobs. In general, employers must do the following to minimise the risks to roofers and protect them from injury.
Secure The Working Area
The biggest risk that roofers face is falling from the roof. It’s not just the edge of the roof that poses a threat. Roofers can also fall through holes or gaps in the roof, and skylights or other weak spots in the roofing.
Installation of proper edge guards and scaffolding in addition to sturdy safety nets are some of the measures that are expected to be put in place before workers begin any work on the roof.
Make Sure The Roofers Working Area Is Clutter-free
In a best-case scenario, slipping over loose rubble or debris, or tripping over an unexpected obstacle lying in a roofers path may result in a few bruises or broken bones. In a worst-case scenario, it could cause a roofer to fall to their death.
When working at great height, keeping the area clean and clutter-free is crucial. All debris and construction or roofing materials should be cleared away immediately by filling them into containers, which are then safely lowered to the ground.
Besides causing slip and trip injuries, accumulated debris could also put additional strain of the roof and cause it to collapse, putting the workers at serious risk.
Provide All Roofers With Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 states that employers must ensure that all roofers are properly equipped with standard personal protective equipment while working on a roof. While specifics may differ from one project to another, in general employers must provide roofers with safety goggles, hard hats, heavy duty gloves, tool belt or tool case, work boots and other appropriate equipment.
If your employer was negligent with providing PPE and because of this you became injured then you could claim compensation.
Provide Roofers With Extensive Training
Wearing personal protective equipment is not going to protect workers from injuries if they do not know the basics. One of the biggest responsibilities of any employer is to ensure that all roofers receive extensive training related to safety measures of the job.
If your employer failed to do a risk assessment or failed to adhere to any of the provisions stated above and if you were injured as a result, you must look into your right to file a compensation claim.
Claiming Compensation As A Roofer
Most roofers who are injured in an accident that was due to no fault of theirs and who are eligible to claim compensation hesitate to do so because of the thought of legal expenses they are likely to incur. Adding legal fees to possibly large medical expenses can be a scary thought. However, you should know that most established work accident personal injury solicitors do not ask for any upfront legal fees. Instead they make it easy for roofers to file your claim on the basis of a simple agreement called a No Win No Fee agreement.
How A No Win No Fee Agreement Works
Make an appointment with an experienced personal injury solicitor who in all likelihood offers a free consultation. Most solicitors offer a free first consultation so you don’t have to worry about paying any fees.
If you consult with our solicitors they will want a reasonably detailed account of the accident as well as any evidence that you have supporting your roofer injury claim. Some things they will want to know are:
- Was the accident reported?
- Have you photographs of the accident site?
- Did you get any witness statements?
- Have you been to see your doctor, or visited the hospital? If so what is the diagnosis, advised treatment and future prognosis of the injury?
If the case looks strongly in your favour, our solicitors who specialise in work accident claims will ask you if you’re happy to sign a No Win No Fee agreement so that we can get your claim started. This agreement states that our solicitor assigned to your case will file your roofer accident claim and represent you in court till the case is closed, without asking you for any payment until it has been successful.
Whether you pay or not will depend on the final outcome of course. If you win your claim, you will simply pay a percentage of the amount awarded to you in compensation. The percentage will be agreed upon with you before you sign so you know exactly what’s what. If the claim is not successful you don’t have to pay any fees at all. However, losing is very rare as our solicitors who deal exclusively with work accidents including roofer compensation claims would have done their due diligence and would have agreed to help you only if you have a strong case.
Getting free legal advice is a win-win situation for any injured roofer and definitely worth asking us about.