By guest blogger Julia Czelazewicz

Having work done on your roof? It only takes a few simple questions to ask your contractor to play it safe. Every year, nationwide, about 100 construction workers are killed and 1300 seriously injured in falls from roofs. In most cases, workers who fell from roofs were not using adequate fall protection.

Ask the contractor a few simple questions before you sign a contract: Are you licensed? Do you have CT workers’ compensation insurance? (Ask to see a copy of the insurance certificate.) Do your workers work directly for your company? (If they are “independent contractors” they are NOT covered by workers’ compensation.) Will your workers be using fall protection, such as lifelines or guardrails, while on the roof?

If the prospective contractor answers “no” to any of these questions, look for another contractor. There is a chance you could share in liability if there were a serious incident on your property.

Falls are the leading cause of death among construction workers, and falls from rooftops are the most common type of fall. Even years of experience does not negate the need for safety equipment. Remember, safety pays, falls cost.  Taking a couple minutes to ask these few questions can save someone’s life.

*This information was produced by the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction and the Massachusetts Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation Project (MA FACE).