It is no secret that the roofing industry can be extremely dangerous. In fact, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous of all occupations due to the nature of the work. It is hot up on the roof and the job demands heavy lifting. With most of the work taking place in summer months, it can require working long hours to get ahead of the workload and the strain on a roofer’s body is beyond what the average person can imagine.
With all that in mind, it is no wonder why there are an average of 24 deaths for every 100,000 roofers, higher than in any other occupation. So then, what are the most common causes of roofing accidents and how can you prevent them? The answers can be found in guidance published by the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) and updated annually. According to statistics, here are those 3 common causes of roofing accidents so that you can take measures to prevent them.
1. Lack of Safety Equipment
Sadly, the leading cause of roofing accidents can be very easily prevented by simply following OSHA guidelines! They are very specific as to what equipment is needed on any given job. For example, the type of extension ladders used are clearly defined in their publication and fall protection gear for use on roofs is also heavily regulated. It only takes looking at industry rated gear such as Harness Land fall protection equipment and a roofing contractor can find the right equipment for the job. From harnesses to lanyards and fall arrest anchors, there is a specific product as defined by OSHA which can save lives. Why more roofers are not in compliance is a question left to attorneys handling lawsuits filed by workers injured on the job.
2. Roof Collapse
Although there isn’t much a roofer can do to prevent a roof from collapsing, steps can be taken to ensure no one steps on a questionable area. There are structural tests which can be run prior to workers getting up on the roof and with fall protection gear in place, a worker may still be injured, but chances are slim that they would fall to their deaths. However, it is up to the roofing contractor and any foreman on the job to determine the level of safety to prevent workers from stepping on weak areas.
3. Ladder Falls
Here again, there are two ways in which proper safety precautions could have prevented a ladder fall. With regulation fall prevention equipment and an OSHA rated ladder, chances are good that many falls would never have taken place. Even so, there are rules about ladder safety as well and many workers fail to comply with roofing codes. For example, workers should not carry anything up the ladder other than what can be worn on their belts and anything that needs to get up to the roof should be hoisted with a pulley assembly.
So, as you can see, many of the most common roofing accidents could have been prevented with regulation equipment and following industry protocol. It is better to spend the extra money now to get the equipment and training necessary for the job than to spend hundreds of thousands later, possibly losing your business and business license, than it is to cut corners to save on production costs. That is just a catastrophe waiting to happen.