Dorwin J. Wolfe established Wolfe Law Firm to offer West Virginia superior representation in personal injury law. Today, Wolfe Law Firm is highly regarded as an innovative leader in helping victims injured on the job. We have prevailed in numerous cases involving falls from roofs, ladders, and scaffolds, ensuring that construction workers recover the compensation they deserve.
Roof Falls in West Virginia
Construction is integral to the growth of West Virginia. Residential construction workers must scale great heights to provide the roofs and shelter we need. They deserve the same protection that their work provides for us. But builders are often deprived of the simple tools and precautionary measures required to keep them safe. As a result, falls continue to be the leading cause of injury and death in the construction industry. Many workplace accidents result in total and permanent disability, economically destroying dependents. Preventable falls from ladders and scaffolds cause almost half of all fatalities and wrongful death in the construction industry.
Preventable accidents are usually caused by negligence. Negligence means the failure to provide builders with the protection and platform required to prevent foreseeable harm. Employers, contractors, and companies that abandon this legal duty are liable for injuries caused by their negligence. Although dangerous, the construction site is as much of a workplace as a building or office. Those who own or control the premises have a responsibility to keep workers safe. This requires replacing defective products, checking for fall hazards, and removing dangerous conditions on the property. Neglecting to do so may result in premises or product liability.
Regulations Governing Construction Work
OSHA is the body responsible for protecting the occupational safety and health of workers. In construction, OSHA sets forth various rules to prevent workplace hazards. In construction, OSHA regulations require that builders be provided with adequate fall protection from the ladders and scaffolds required to access the roof. The most serious OSHA violations leading to roof falls include:
- Lack of head and fall protection
- Unguarded scaffold sides and edges
- Poor aerial lifts, body belts, and lanyards
- Insufficient training in fall hazards, use of scaffolds
- Improper use portable ladders 3 feet above landing surface
- Inadequate access to and platform construction of scaffolds
OSHA Violations and Workers’ Compensation
OSHA violations may result in citations and fines. Plastering contractors, for example, may be fined for exposing employees to fall hazards while working on a scaffold without fall protection equipment. Following an OSHA inspection, roofing contractors can likewise be fined for endangering workers by using the improper portable ladder above the landing surface. OSHA violations demonstrate fault for an accidental injury but do not compensate the victim.
Workers’ compensation provides cash payments to employees injured on the job. Workers must have contributed to the insurance system to be eligible. They must also suffer a “qualifying” injury that entitles them to receive benefits. Workers’ compensation provides for any necessary medical expenses and a portion of the employee’s weekly wage. Depending on the fall, workers or their families may be entitled to temporary or lifetime benefits and wrongful death damages.
Recover Compensation for Your Injury
If you have sustained injuries from a fall, Virginia workplace injury attorney Dorwin J. Wolfe can help. Wolfe Law Firm has extensive experience helping injured workers recover workers’ compensation benefits and personal injury damages. At Wolfe Law Firm, we explain all your legal options and pursue the avenue of relief most beneficial to you. You pay nothing until you recover compensation. Our office is dedicated to getting you and your family back on its feet. Call (877) 637-5756 for a free consultation or contact us online.