It goes without saying that I hope you never fall off a roof! It can be painful and very dangerous. Regardless of the height of the roof (one or two stories, etc), the chances of deeply injuring yourself are fairly high. However, hoping for the best is not the best way to prepare, so in this blog post, we will talk about the action of falling off a roof and how best to ensure your safety in the event it ever happens.
As a general rule, when falling off a roof, you should try to land on your feet if higher than two stories. This will cause both of your legs to absorb the shock of falling and reduce injury to other parts of your body- like if you land on your back or head, for example.
The act of falling off a roof can occur very quickly and you may not always have time or be in the proper headspace to react accordingly. But to be on the safe said, let’s dive into what actually happens and how you can help better protect yourself.
The Act Of Falling Off A Roof
When falling off a roof, it can take less than a second to hit the ground. This may not sound like long, but falling from high up can cause significant damage- both mentally and physically.
What you do in this split second will play an important role as far as your safety is concerned: whether or not you land on your feet, how much time it takes for your body’s muscles to contract (in order to prepare for impact), etcetera.
The fall itself might only take seconds, but knowing what to expect beforehand could save your life!
Depending on the nature of the fall, can determine how much extra time you have to react. For instance, if you are using a ladder and the ladder tips backward, you buy yourself some crucial time to position yourself so that minimal damage may occur. Whereas, you have much less time to react if the fall occurs from the edge of the roof and your trajectory is straight down.
One way to better get your mind in a clear headspace during the act of falling is to keep your eyes open when falling. This will help you see how to react more quickly, as well as keep them from being hit or closed by any debris that may be falling with you.
Pro tip: If falling off the roof of a building and it’s not too high up (less than two stories), try to land on all fours instead of attempting to do so feet first. This should allow for better prevention against injury in this scenario since there is less time to prepare yourself before impact.
What To Do After Falling Off A Roof
Once you finally land, your adrenaline should be pumping and you will likely have a mixture of emotions- fear, pain, relief… But what to do next?
As mentioned before, falling from the roof can cause significant damage. Depending on how high up it is (especially if higher than two stories), there’s a chance that this could lead to serious injury- including broken bones or head trauma. So immediately after falling off a roof, it is important for your safety that you check yourself over thoroughly.
Sometimes people don’t realize when they have injured themselves right away because adrenaline kicks in and masks any pain associated with falling off the edge of something tall like a building.
This is very important…DO NOT TRY AND STAND YET!
The first thing you should do is to let your heart settle and let the adrenaline clear through your body. You will know when this is starting to happen by the sudden pain you will feel from the impact. At this point, you should also make sure that any debris has cleared off of your body as well.
Once you start to feel more prepared to check yourself over, begin by checking for cuts and bleeding on the head, back, or limbs. Then, inspect your hands and feet to make sure they’re not broken/swollen.
You may want to make sure all teeth are intact. Assess the pain level in different areas of your body when touched with slight pressure; compare it to other parts of your body before deciding whether you need medical attention or not. If there is anything out of the ordinary happening, call for help!
If you happen to be lucky enough to only have a few bumps and bruises, just be on the safe side and go get yourself checked out at the local hospital. A concussion can take some time to be developed after falling off a building, and it’s best to err on the side of caution.
If you do happen to be seriously injured, some common injuries related to falling off a roof are:
- broken legs and/or arms
- internal bleeding
- other broken bones
- other head trauma (either from falling or debris falling with you)
- coronary vasospasm, which is a life-threatening condition where the blood vessels in your heart tighten and restrict blood flow. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness/lightheadedness, weak pulse, nausea/vomiting.
If you experience any of these symptoms after falling off a roof…call for an ambulance! This is not something to mess around with.
Falling off a roof can be very scary and happen in a split second. Even the most careful contractors or homeowners are leaving themselves open to this every time they step on a roof.
It is important to be prepared for falling off a roof in order to minimize any serious injury that might result. Being aware of the distance you will fall, how much time it takes (if falling from less than two stories), and what stance to take when falling are all key pieces of information- but don’t forget about checking yourself over afterward!