It’s easy to understand why roofers experience a lot of danger on the job. If they’re working 30 feet off the ground on a two-story house, a fall can be dramatic and deadly. For construction workers who may be hundreds of feet off of the ground, an uncontrolled fall may simply not be survivable. Anything over 50 feet is very likely to be deadly.
Does this mean that a shorter fall is safe? It does not. That’s a risky stereotype to buy into, as it often leads people to underestimate the dangers that they face on the job.
For instance, one study looked at deadly falls in the construction industry. Barely over 21% of people who died in these falls were more than 30 feet off of the ground at the time. About 14 percent were under 10 feet. Some deadly accidents even happened with workers who were under six feet from the ground. Nearly half of the deadly falls — 48.8% — happened when workers were no more than 20 feet from the surface that they landed on.
While the specific statistics change from year to year, it’s not important to know the exact numbers every year. What is important is to understand that a lot of “short” falls lead to serious injuries and deaths. A worker who is a mere six feet from the ground may honestly feel safe, thinking they could jump down without any problems. However, people in that exact position have died, so you can’t overlook the risk.
If you get hurt on the job or if a loved one is killed, be sure you understand all of your legal rights.