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Roofer Suffers Critical Injuries from Fall

by ARLnow.com | November 30, 2012 at 3:55 pm | 5,239 views | 31 Comments

 

A construction worker suffered critical injures after falling from the roof of a new home under construction in Arlington’s Riverwood neighborhood.

The incident happened just before 11:00 a.m., on the 3700 block of 27th Street N. The man, 34 years old and from Woodbridge, was working installing trusses on the roof of the new home when he lost his balance and fell three stories (30-35 feet) onto a patch of dirt, according to police.

The victim was semi-conscious when he was loaded into an ambulance and rushed to George Washington University hospital. His injuries are described as “critical.”

The family of the victim has been notified, said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. State occupational safety officials were also notified. Police remained on scene to help investigate the accident.

Update on 12/3/12 – The man’s injuries “do not appear to be life threatening,” police say.

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  • WeiQiang

    Best wishes on a full recovery.

  • http://URL Mrmeow

    Get well.

  • Ted

    But I thought houses in ARL were no taller than 2 stories by code! (Rolls eyes.)

    Hope the guy recovers fully.

  • Jack

    35′ to the midline jackass. Nice compassion.

    • Ted

      It’s a 3-story house. 3 stories, 35 feet–any way you slice it, it’s way too tall. If the county would quit allowing these ginormous mcmansions (which are in reality 3 stories, not 2), the risk to the workers would be less. So YOU are the jackass for not caring about them.

      • Don’t get it

        Ok, so I,m looking at a 2 story house in the picture. Probalbly has 9 foot ceilings, has fairly steep roof due to rainfall. Maybe it has a walkout, I don’t know. I live in such a house which I would not describe as a McMansion. In any case, what does the height have to do with roofer safety? If he seriously injured himself from a 25 foot fall, would you have some how felt better about this?

        • Oh wait

          I get it. We should all live in houses where a fall won’t hurt a roofer no matter how he/she lands. Anyone know how tall that would be? I’m guessing one would likely be crawling instead of walking inside such a house.

      • RidgeResident

        So, Ted. How tall is a house supposed to be?

        I do hope the guy recovers.

    • http://URL HayDiosMio

      I’m late to this thread first off, hope the guy is doing well.

      Second, PURA PENDEJADA AQUI…. Hay dios mio….

      • brown before green

        True dat, bro!

        “Ted” is a troll. He is a well-known troll who has a handful of acolytes who fill this blog and a few others (including his own!) with multiple messages using aliases to stir the pot.

  • Greg

    Best wishes. I know how dangerous taking a fall like that is, and I hope he was able to break his fall as best he could.

  • Michael H.

    Terrible news. I hope he makes it.

  • http://URL flyover_country

    “State occupational safety officials were also notified. Police remained on scene to help investigate the accident.”

    A neighbor called the OSHA folks to complain that roofers were working on the roof without proper safety equipment on a similar infill house in our neighborhood. The GC and developer were none to pleased – time is money. Wouldn’t be surprised if the guy is an “independent contractor” for which the GC and developer have no responsibility to provide health insurance. But hey, they get to build cheaper, and the owner gets their house cheaper, everybody wins…..

    • CW

      Doubt the owner gets the house cheaper; more like GC and developer make even more of a killing.

  • Jan

    OSHA has no teeth. It seems like OSHA only gets involved after-the-fact, when proactive enforcement might force builders to use safe practices all the time. OSHA would not need to inspect all building sites, but spot checking would keep all builders honest. Currently, there is little down side to failing to maintain safe working conditions.

    As for the size of this house, it pales in comparison to the dormitory-like structure going up next door to this house. I walked by recently and cannot figure out if the other building is a house or a dormitory.

    • The GC

      Not true. OSHA can come by anytime. However they are required to be notified under certain circumstances.

  • The GC

    How much is ‘a killing’ on a $1.2 million house? $50,000 net, $100,000? How much do you thinking the General Contractors are taking home?

  • flyover_country

    Well my view is that either infill in Arlington is pretty lucrative, or the GC is a poor business person. I say that as the pace of infill seems to be increasing, but the number of homes built looks to be a small % of that in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun Counties. Know a guy who does nothing but frame house down between Woodbridge and F/Burg. Last couple years have been slow, but this year he framed over 800 houses this past year. With that kinda volume, margin has gotta be pretty thin as most of the houses are $550k or less. The infills around here average 6 – 12 months or more. If it takes that long, can’t be building very many of them – thus the margin needs to be much higher, or need to rethink the business model.

    • Homebuilder

      No fill in uder 3K SqFt is going to take over six months unless issues popup.

      • CW

        And who is building infills under 3ksqft?

        • Westover

          3k is about the average above ground finished area of Arlington fill ins. Of course Country Club Hills are bigger, but not typical of the county. New builds seem to go MUCH faster than additions and rehabs.

          • CW

            I will agree with that. I have been watching some of these renos and add-ons in Lyon Village crawl along for the better part of a year. Idk if it’s because the homeowners are using GCs who don’t quite have their subs, if it’s just because there are inherently more “surprises” inherent in a reno, or if, god forbid, homeowners are actually trying to run the show themselves (though I doubt anyone in this area has that level of practical knowledge).

          • Tobe

            There’s also the possibility of the owner not forking over the money to keep the job going.

    • http://URL The GC

      And so what is that amount? $17,000/ yr? $170,000/ yr? How much do they earn per $550,000 house? Per 1,300,000 house?

  • Fire Marshall Bill

    Trusses on McMansions create fire deathtraps. And worker leg snaps apparently too.

  • Flyover_country

    Well before we get too far off track here, I was told how many houses they framed, not how much they get paid per house. I’m extrapolating here from say the margin on a Ferrari and a Ford Focus. They make a few hundred Ferrari each year, probably 100K or more Focuses. Both stay in business. If the margin is the same, then I need to buy Ford stock today.

    So back to my original observation – which is that GCs have always employed subs, but that it’s only gotten worse as they try to cut costs (overhead like health insurance, unemployment benefits ect). However, that doesn’t change the incentive to get it done fast. If its your employee that gets hurt, that effects your bottom line; if your subs guy gets hurt, that’s not my problem.

    Now if you want to have a wider discussion about issues related to infill development in Arlington, perhaps you can post in the forum and I’ll be happy to provide my view why it’s all jacked up (so to speak).

  • The GC

    Flyover, you still haven’t addressed the original question. How much do you think these GC’s are making per house?

  • flyover_country

    Well that wasn’t mentioned in the article or my initial post. I’ll re-post it so you won’t have to scroll up all the way up to read it -

    “State occupational safety officials were also notified. Police remained on scene to help investigate the accident.”
    A neighbor called the OSHA folks to complain that roofers were working on the roof without proper safety equipment on a similar infill house in our neighborhood. The GC and developer were none to pleased – time is money. Wouldn’t be surprised if the guy is an “independent contractor” for which the GC and developer have no responsibility to provide health insurance. But hey, they get to build cheaper, and the owner gets their house cheaper, everybody wins…..

    So if you were to address my original post, you perhaps might opine – “that’s crap, I employ all my own guys and provide full health care benefits for everyone.” Or maybe “I’d never let one of my subs (roofer for example) violate any safety requirements – safety of my subs is more important than money.” Or “OSHA is full of crap, if I did everything they require I’d be out of business tomorrow.” See there, that wasn’t so hard.

    • Westover

      Shouldn’t the sub be responcible for his employee’s following OSHA rules and their healthcare?
      Why should the GC be held responsible in your mind, if he did not create a condition anymore unsafe than the average build site?

    • The GC

      I did address your original post. I posted and proceeded beyond it.

      Flyover your comments on my next post-”Well my view is that either infill in Arlington is pretty lucrative, or the GC is a poor business person. I say that as the pace of infill seems to be increasing, but the number of homes built looks to be a small % of that in Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun Counties. Know a guy who does nothing but frame house down between Woodbridge and F/Burg. Last couple years have been slow, but this year he framed over 800 houses this past year. With that kinda volume, margin has gotta be pretty thin as most of the houses are $550k or less. The infills around here average 6 – 12 months or more. If it takes that long, can’t be building very many of them – thus the margin needs to be much higher, or need to rethink the business model.”

      You wanted to engage on wages/ earnings for General Contractors. But you don’t want to answer my questions. If you no longer want to engage on this topic after your initial incredibly long on generalizations and short on specifics post, fine.

  • flyover_country

    “Shouldn’t the sub be responcible for his employee’s following OSHA rules and their healthcare?
    Why should the GC be held responsible in your mind, if he did not create a condition anymore unsafe than the average build site?”

    If you hire a GC, your contract is with him, not his subs. You as homeowner can pull your own permit. However, then the code enforcement inspectors will hold you liable to meet code, regardless whether you did the work yourself, or hired someone else to do it. Same for liability for injury or damages related to that work.

    You hire a GC, he pulls the permit. His sub doesn’t do the electrical to code, his problem, not yours. The county requires the GC to show they are licensed and bonded to get the permit, to protect you and the subs. Both can go against the bond – if the sub isn’t paid, or the homeowner has a claim against the GC because the work doesn’t pass inspection.

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