Falls from Roofs Leading to Serious Injuries and Deaths in Charleston

South Carolina Fall From Roof Injury Lawyer

Most employees face certain hazards throughout their day, but construction workers and other employees who spend their day on a roof are at higher risks of sustaining serious injuries or death. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls make up approximately 20 percent of all fatal workplace accidents. Many of these fatal accidents involve workers falling off of roofs. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that falls from roofs account for 34 percent of fatal construction workplace accidents.

General contractors, sub-contractors, construction companies, and other employees in the construction industry have a duty to ensure a safe workplace for construction workers. However, too often, busy and budget-conscious employers fail to implement the protections necessary to ensure worker safety. And sometimes, even when employers take these steps, fatal accidents still occur. 

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our dedicated team of South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers has a 95-year history of helping injured workers and grieving families obtain workers’ compensation benefits. We offer free consultations where we will explain the recovery process, answer your questions, and explain what we can do to help connect you with the benefits your family is entitled to. 

Falls: The Leading Cause of Death Among Construction Workers

In 2020, over 1,000 construction workers were killed in workplace accidents, making it the most dangerous occupation. Roughly 21 percent of all fatal workplace accidents are from the construction industry, and fatal construction accidents exceeded those that occurred in the second-most-dangerous industry (transportation and warehousing) by about 20 percent. 

Falls are responsible for more than a third of all construction fatalities, making them the most common cause of fatal construction accidents. To protect roofers and other workers who spend their days on roofs, employers must identify all possible hazards and take steps to address them.

Most Common Violations Related to Fatal Construction Falls

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) maintains a database of all fatal workplace accidents in an effort to determine the most effective way to reduce future deaths. OSHA also is the federal agency responsible for creating and enforcing rules that employers must follow. 

After any construction accident, OSHA will conduct an investigation to determine if the employer failed to address any known hazards. 

According to OSHA, the most frequently cited roofing violations involved the following:

  • Failure to provide fall protection.
  • Ladder safety.
  • Failure to provide fall protection training. 
  • Failure to provide eye and face protection.
  • Scaffolding violations.
  • Violations of general safety and health provisions. 
  • Failure to provide adequate head protection.
  • Failure to implement a fall protection system.
  • Violations of ladder training requirements.
  • Poor hazard communication policies. 

OSHA recommends that employers take the following actions to reduce the risk of a fatal fall from a roof:


Plan ahead to ensure that workers are provided with the necessary training and that the project plan is well thought-out. When estimating the cost of a job, employers should factor in all necessary safety equipment and tools to get the job done safely. 

Providing the Proper Equipment

Employers must provide fall-protection equipment to any person who is working more than six feet above ground level. This equipment includes the right type of ladders, scaffolding and safety gear that will enable the workers to complete the job as safely as possible. 

Ensure Workers Receive Adequate Training

Employers that plan on taking on any roofing project must provide all employees with information on how to set up and take down the equipment they will be using throughout the project. Employers should also train workers to recognize potential hazards and provide them with a way to report any hazards they identify. 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Fatal Roofing Accidents

The South Carolina workers’ compensation system allows families who lost a loved one in a workplace accident to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. While both workers’ compensation claims and wrongful death cases provide benefits to the surviving loved ones of a fatal accident, the two are quite different. 

For example, because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, surviving family members do not need to prove that the employer was negligent. Instead, they only need to establish that the accident leading to their loved one’s death occurred on the job or was related to their job. 

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Fall from a Roof? 

If you tragically lost a family member after they fell off of a roof while working in the construction industry, your family may be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. At the Steinberg Law Firm, our dedicated South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys have 95 years of experience helping individuals and families obtain the benefits they need and deserve after a life-changing workplace accident. We offer free consultations and will not bill you for our services unless we collect benefits on your behalf. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation today, call 843-720-2800. You can also connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.

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