Roofing is a job that almost everyone needs, but few understands how dangerous roofing really is. It’s bad enough that a fall might kill you, but roofers face a whole host of other on-the-job hazards as well. From burns to volatile tars and chemicals, electrocution from contact with exposed power lines, and injuries from falling and injury from other roofing debris are just a few of the risks roofers face each day.
Roofing work is very hard and you have to be very tough and also be very smart to be a full-time roofer. The job is physically as well as intellectually demanding, which is why it was rated as the 4th most dangerous job in North America. Most people don’t understand why roofing is so dangerous and the many hazards that make roofing so perilous. Hazards such as; roof stability, working at heights, working with chemicals, weather conditions, working with flame and hot asphalt, lifting heavy materials, fumes, dust, using saws and power tools, cranes and overhead lifting are just a few dangers roofers deal with daily.
Roof safety is a must for any building owner. Unprotected edges, heights, tripping hazards, and extreme heat can put workers at risk for accidents. The right protection devices and policies will ensure that employees and contractors can perform work in a secure environment.
With safety procedures and instructions in place building owners and roofers can agree how work will be undertaken safely. Safe Systems will normally be determined via the risk assessment process, and from this a method statement is created which will determine the safe sequence of work and exactly how it will be undertaken. If work is being undertaken by a roofing contractor, there is a joint obligation on both the client and the contractor to ensure the work can be undertaken safely. Risk & Method Statements (RAMs) should therefore be exchanged and agreed upon by both owner and contractor.
Start roofing projects with SAFETY, training, reliability, quality and experience in mind.
Good housekeeping during any roofing project is a must by the roofing contractor. Work and setup areas, material storage areas must be kept clean and secured to prevent any objects from flying in windy conditions. Many falls from height occur due to slips, trips and falls whilst working. Uneven, slippery surfaces and low-level obstacles such as cables, wires or work tools all increase the risk of falling. Risks associated with a simple trip on a flat roof can be potentially serious. A tidy work ethic will therefore be required.
Due to all of these factors, roofing has become one of the most dangerous jobs in all of America. With 49 fatalities per 100,000 workers, roofing is the 4th most dangerous job in North America. Nobody would think that the job is so difficult just by looking at a few men on top of a roof, but after looking at the numbers, and the facts, it’s hard to walk away thinking roofing isn’t a dangerous profession.
Next time you hire a roofing company, treat them with respect. They’re putting their lives in danger for the sake of your business.