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Safety violations expose roofers to construction injuries

Construction workers in Colorado should not have to put their lives on the line to earn a living. They retain the right to report workplace environments where safety hazards that could cause construction injuries are ignored. In Dec. 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was alerted to unsafe practices at a re-roofing construction site in Denver. Reportedly, workers were in danger of falling while installing shingles on a multi-story building.

Upon inspecting the housing complex, OSHA investigators found that employees of a roofing company and a subcontractor were exposed to multiple safety hazards. Reportedly, the safety hazards were pointed out to the two employers, and they were warned to address the issues. However, when OSHA officials returned to the site three days later, workers were still working under the same dangerous conditions. It appears that the business owners simply disregarded the warnings.

A full investigation was launched, and citations were recently issued for repeat violations related to the failure to protect workers from fall hazards and eye and head injuries. Inspectors determined that there were no safety protocols related to scaffold structures and the use of extension ladders. Also, workers were lifted to roof height of the three-story building on forklift platforms without rails to prevent falls.

Colorado workers who have suffered construction injuries may pursue workers' compensation benefits claims regardless of who was at fault. The program typically covers all medical expenses related to a workplace accident. Also, any worker whose injuries resulted in an absence from work may find comfort in knowing that benefits will include compensation for lost wages that is typically based on his or her average weekly wage.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "CO Roofing, Sub-Contractor Defied Fall Hazard Warnings Twice in 3 Days; Exposed Roofers to 3-Story Falls", April 21, 2016

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