Multiple roofs in Massachusetts have recently collapsed with the downpour of snow over the past few days. In Easton on Wednesday, the roof of a commercial building collapsed with workers inside the structure. All of the workers in the building escaped unscathed. Also on Wednesday, at the Norwood Airport, a hangar partially collapsed at Swift Aviation Services. Several aircrafts were damaged and one worker was trapped inside the hangar for a short time.
On January 28th, in Stoughton, the roof of an empty commercial building collapsed, damaging also four neighboring commercial buildings. Although the building was already scheduled for repairs due to an earlier fire, the heavy accumulation of snow on the roof was the partial reason for this collapse.
With more snow and freezing rain forecasted over the next few days, the State is taking measures to ensure the safety of all workers, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is recommending that all property managers and building owners safely clear the snow off of their commercial roofs as soon as possible. MEMA Acting Director, Kurt Schwartz, warns that “Flat, commercial roofs are most susceptible if they are not draining properly.” Because the snow is now turning into freezing rain throughout New England, the rain and ice will soak into the existing snow, making a roof even heavier and more vulnerable to a structural collapse.
Workers Escape Ahead of Mass. Building Collapse, The Boston Globe (www.boston.com), February 2, 2011
MEMA warns people to clear snow off their roofs, New England Cable News (www.necn.com), February 2, 2010
Roof Collapse & Storm Drain Safety Information, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Contact the Massachusetts work injury lawyers at Altman & Altman if you have been injured on the job.