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Falls From Roofs

Falls from roofs: Hire Experienced Washington State Lawyers Who Know the LawKnow Your Rights

If you, a family member or a friend has been injured in a fall from a roof while working at a construction site in Washington State, it is time to call for a free, no obligation consultation with one of the experienced personal injury lawyers at Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC. Construction workers have important legal rights, including the right to be provided with a safe place to work, but those rights can be lost if not exercised in a timely manner.

Falls Happen Because Contractors Ignore Government Safety Regulations

Construction workers Job site falls typically do not happen unless a government safety regulation has been broken. When a contractor ignores safety rules enacted under the Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act [WISHA] and causes a serious injury, the injured worker should not be the only one to suffer the consequences. The injured construction worker and the worker’s family often have the right to bring a third party claim against the negligent contractor.

Every contractor is required by law to have a written fall protection program, and is required by law to inspect each and every job site for potential fall hazards. The law does not leave fall protection to chance, with the construction worker bearing all of the risk of injury. Fall protection safety rules are strictly enforced.

Fall Arrest and Fall Restraints Systems Must be Used

Under Washington State law, contractors are not allowed to expose workers to roof-related fall hazards of 10 feet or more – even on low-pitched roofs. In additional to requiring that any skylights or weak points in the roof surface be barricaded so that workers cannot fall through them, Washington Administrative Code § 296-155-24611 requires the contractor to use fall arrest or fall restraint systems to protect all workers from falling over the edge of a roof.

Fall restraint systems consist of guardrails, barricades, and even safety harness and safety line/lanyard systems that are short enough prevent a worker from going over the edge of a roof.

Fall arrest systems are the most common type of fall protection used for rooftop workers. These systems are designed to stop a worker from reaching the ground after he has fallen and gone over the edge of a roof. Safety harnesses and safety lines/lanyards are used more than any other type of fall arrest system. In Washington it is the contractor’s responsibility to supply each worker with a safety harness and a safety line/lanyard. It is also the contractor’s responsibility to direct each worker to wear a safety harness, to which is attached an end of the safety rope/lanyard. The other end of the safety rope/lanyard is tied off to an anchor point that is strong enough to hold the worker in the event of a fall. The anchor point also has to be placed in a location that not only allows the worker access to the area of the roof where he is assigned to work, but is far enough away from the ground to prevent the worker from hitting the ground before he reaches the end of his safety line/lanyard.

Many workers do not like to wear safety lines because the lines can inhibit a worker’s freedom of movement and can be tripped over, which in and of itself can cause a fall. However, like it or not, the law requires contractors to mandate the use of these life-saving safety devices, or install a “catch net” system around the perimeter of the roof. Simply put, the contractor has to install safety nets strong enough to catch and hold multiple people at one time. Because such a system requires extensive rigging, it is seldom used.

Injured Workers Should Not Pay for a Contractor’s Negligence

Falls happen all too frequently on construction sites, and they just as frequently result in disabling injuries, lost income, and suffering that workers’ compensation benefits paid by the Department of Labor and Industries do not begin to cover. Contractors are required to have job site specific fall protection plans and make sure that their fall protection plans are followed to the letter. But far too often, government safety inspectors are unable to come to every job site to force the contractors to obey the law, and even when the inspectors do show up, far too often the safety rules are only followed for a long as the inspectors are present.

Don’t Hire an Apprentice Lawyer When You Need a Journeyman to Get the Job Done

Just as all contractors are not equal, neither are all personal injury lawyers. At Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC, we don’t dabble in personal injury law -- all we do is represent injury victims. Our lawyers have worked together for decades and we have handled some of the most serious construction injury cases in the state, which have included falls from and through roofs. We know Washington’s construction safety rules and we know how to thoroughly and aggressively investigate and litigate a personal injury case from beginning to end. Our one and only goal is to get our clients the maximum possible financial recovery they deserve.

Call Us Free of Charge

When your rights are at stake, you should call an experienced lawyer. At Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC, we promise to explain your rights to you and give you a free, no obligation initial consultation. We are a Seattle-based law firm, but we represent injured workers from all over the state, in every county and federal court in Washington. If you hire Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC, you will pay us no fee unless we win financial compensation for you!

Call Us Now

For your free, no obligation consultation, call Kraft Davies Olsson PLLC today at 206.624.8844. Alternatively, you may email your inquiry to us by clicking here.