A roofing worker is dead after falling 25 feet from the roof of a North Carolina school, highlighting the need to take safety seriously in the roofing industry.
According to the News & Observer, Manuel Montellano was found passed out near Morehead High School’s auditorium. The 45-year-old man from Winston-Salem was rushed to a hospital but was pronounced dead, per the Eden Police Department.
The News & Observer said first responders who arrived at the high school on April 26 treated Montellano before he was taken to the nearby UNC Health-Rockingham. The North Carolina Department of Labor told McClatchy News in an email that it launched an inspection. Eden police are investigating as well but don’t suspect foul play.
Rockingham County Schools didn’t share additional details about the incident, but reported on Twitter about the accident.
“The person involved in the accident was neither a staff nor student at Rockingham County Schools,” the tweet reads. “A contractor was on the roof of a classroom building and descended uncontrollably. EMS transported the victim for treatment.”
The incident is the latest in recent history where a roofing contractor fell from an educational building. In August 2022, a worker fell from a building at the Ball State University, while in May 2022, another fell from a building at Fairfield University in Connecticut. The latter was eventually pronounced dead after suffering critical injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fatal work injury rate for roofers per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2021 was 59, well above the 47 recorded in 2020. Roofing is one of the top three deadliest occupations in the U.S., below logging workers (82.2 per 100,000) and fishing and hunting workers (75.2 per 100,000).