Heavy treaded boots, safety harnesses, ropes and rope grabs, edge guards, thick leather gloves, and hardhats—there’s a reason why a roofer is required to come ready with this safety equipment and gear: roofing can be a very dangerous job.
According to the Electronic Library of Construction Occupational Safety & Health (ELCOSH), roofers have the fifth-highest work-related death rate in the field of construction, with about 50 worker fatalities per year. So, this begets the question: why is roofing such a hazardous, and at times, life-threatening job?
Statistics derived from a 1992-1998 investigation into roofers’ deaths show us that out of these nearly 50 deaths per year, 37 of them are from fatal falls. A conclusion can be derived from this research that these workers may have lacked the proper fall protection and safety equipment while on the job.
Other falling instances that contribute to these brutal statistics include falling off of ladders, skylights, and scaffolds. Residential roofers, according to ELCOSH, have twice the percentage of fatal falls from ladders in contrast to all other roofing workers because they simply utilize ladders more frequently in their work. Commercial roofing workers, however, tally up the percentages in falls through skylights. Other fatal falls include falling through roof openings and roof surfaces.
Specifically, the majority of fatal falls occur from the roof edges, which could’ve been prevented with safety equipment like personal fall-arrest systems, guardrails, or safety nets. OSHA also recommends the use of warning lines when working on roofs, which allows workers to mark off roof-edge danger zones, and safety monitors, which alerts workers when they’re in danger of potentially falling.
Falling is perhaps the most obvious hazard in concern with roofing, but many people are surprised to hear that second to falling, is the danger of being fatally electrocuted. Yes, this is another roofing fatality that workers must be aware of at all times, otherwise, they could pay the ultimate price.
Electrocutions account for 11% of the total yearly roofer fatalities. The specifics entail roofers coming into unfortunate contact with overheard power lines. Other instances of electrocutions can also include a roofer being struck by lightning, which can also pose as a dangerous risk while on the job.
Any work on your roof is a dangerous job, so when it’s time to replace your roof leave it to the experts. They will come ready with the required safety equipment and gear to do the job safely and properly.
Here at Feldco Roofing, we provide residents with high quality and weather resistant shingles that are capable of lasting for years to come. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.