Let’s Banish the Risks in the Roofing and Construction Industry
Working at height is still one of the most dangerous tasks that can be undertaken, despite the stringent rules and regulations that govern any of these activities. In the past, working at height led to all manner of accidents and injuries with workers being killed or disabled following accidents at work. Throughout history, the most dangerous types of work would have been undertaken by slaves or serfs who had no civil rights whatsoever – their employers (or owners) treated them as an expendable commodity and if one were injured, there were usually plenty of others to take that person’s place. Major building projects throughout the ages, from the stunning European cathedrals all the way back to the pyramids of Egypt are rife with incidents of death and injury – these edifices were built using the sweat (and the very lifeblood in some cases) of the men who worked on them.
We now live in a far more enlightened era and most of the developed nations have the rules and regulations necessary to minimise any risk to those who work at height on construction projects of all kinds. Here in the UK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for putting in place legislation that protects workers in all industries. A worker who has an accident and suffers injuries while carrying out their work will have access to legal actions to ensure that they are adequately compensated for their injuries. The compensation will take into account not only the injury, but the loss of earnings during recover and the ability of that worker to undertake similar work in the future. If the future prospects of the worker have been curtailed, then compensation will cover that too.
There are strict rules governing companies whose employees need to work at height – with regulations designed to protect workers at all times. Construction work, including roofing work, needs to be properly planned and the correct equipment should be provided in order to carry out the work safely. A company or employer who breaches the health and safety regulations is likely to face a costly lawsuit that could lead to the loss of their business or, in some cases, imprisonment of the person directly responsible.
Employer compliance with all the relevant health and safety regulations is essential and just cannot be avoided. These regulations are designed to protect the employer from legal action as well as to protect the worker from injury.
In many countries, tall buildings are getting taller as we discover new building materials and new techniques that allow us to build into the sky – the quest for the tallest building is sure to be ongoing. This means that health and safety regulations are increasing in importance too. New technology has led to innovative and imaginative designs in safety equipment, making it more sophisticated than ever in the 21st Century. Each injury or incident will be carefully investigated and the findings are used, not only to compensate the injured party, but also to improve on the design of safety equipment and work at height equipment in order to ensure that all risks are avoided whenever possible.