According to federal safety regulations governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers nationwide, including in New York must protect workers from known safety hazards. One area in which control is often neglected is roof work. When workplace safety plans are not in place for working at elevated levels, the consequences could be devastating.

By establishing a management plan for rooftop work, an employer can maintain safety control throughout a project. A proper plan ensures that the employer or supervisor will know which workers are on the roof at all times, and what their respective duties are. All the roof workers will know whether access to the roof will be obtained by the use of a ladder, stairwell or an aerial lift.

The plan will specify which equipment will be used, and how it will be brought onto the roof. Furthermore, each worker will be equipped with the required personal protective equipment. A conscientious employer will also ensure that roof workers receive adequate training in the maintenance and proper use of safety equipment such as fall harnesses, lanyard and anchorage systems. All employees must also be prepared and know what action to take in the event of emergencies to ensure injured workers are removed safely from the roof or from body harnesses if they are suspended after falls were arrested.

While the ideal situation on any work site in New York would be for an employer to prioritize employee and workplace safety, this is not always the case. Injured victims of work-related accidents typically face mounting medical bills and lost wages if they are temporarily disabled. Workers’ compensation benefits will cover those damages in most cases, and the help of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can be sought to simplify the claims process.