On May 3, a woman in Nashville caught incredible footage of four construction workers clinging to an unfinished roof while a violent windstorm passed through the area. This comes just two months after a cluster of tornadoes damaged sections of Middle Tennessee and further illustrates the importance of being mindful of inclement weather while working on a construction project.
In this brief article, a Nashville contractor attorney with Cotney Construction Law will discuss this harrowing event and how roofers can stay safe when bad weather rolls in. As with all safety concerns in the industry, taking precautions and remaining vigilant can go a long way towards preventing injuries and saving lives.
Winds as Strong as a Category 1 Hurricane
Roofers and other construction workers are normally on the ball when it comes to preparing for storms and hurricanes covered by news stations. When a trusted weather report gives you days or even weeks to prepare, scheduling around bad weather can be relatively simple. But as the footage shows, bad weather can form in a matter of minutes.
The footage shows what is called a derecho, a long-lived windstorm, passing through Middle Tennessee with an average wind speed of 60 mph. The construction workers in the video likely had little to no time to return to the safety of their vehicles. The video shows them desperately clinging to the unfinished roof as plywood sheets fly by, nearly hitting them. Fortunately, the workers made it down safely, but this event could have easily resulted in severe injuries or death.
Related: Extreme Weather and Roofing
Be on the Lookout for Bad Weather
If you ever see signs of inclement weather, it’s imperative that you and your workers seek shelter. Always listen to your workers’ concerns regarding weather, especially if they fear that there’s a storm on the horizon. Always pay attention to news alerts regarding weather developments. Set up weather notifications on your smartphone so that you can be alerted as soon as bad weather forms. And this should go without saying, but always have your workers wear the appropriate fall protection equipment when working at an elevation above six feet as is required by OSHA. We can’t say what took place before the video, but if the workers had taken these safety precautions, there’s a good chance they could have avoided serious risk.
For questions regarding safety precautions or fall protections systems, a Nashville contractor attorney with Cotney Construction Law can assist you.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.