Leave roof work to the professionals
It may not surprise you to learn that roofing is considered one of the ten most dangerous jobs in America. You might assume that it is due in large part to the danger of falling off a roof while on the job. While any job performed two stories up (outside the building not in it)is going to have some inherent risks, the danger of falling is just one of the many worries a roofer has to think about it.
Roofing is difficult and dangerous enough when the weather is cooperating. Recent rainfall can make a roof slick while strong winds can kick up without warning threatening to send roofers to the ground below. Also, many of the roofs that roofers work on are badly damaged; there is always the risk of shingles breaking loose right under their feet.
Hot summer weather poses its own risks to roofers. When temperatures and humidity are high and roofers are working up where there’s no shade, dehydration and heat exhaustion can set in fast. A resulting symptom is dizziness, not something you want to experience when you’re two stories up.
Then there’s the threat of electrocution and electrical burns. Roofers working on more modern homes often have to deal with wiring. If you don’t really believe that roofers have to worry about electrocution, tell that to Chris Quinan who got a 220 volt electric shock. Fortunately for him, his coworker was there to kick him off the roof and save his life (what a friend right?)
Finally, there’s the chemicals in the pitch that have been known to give roofers some pretty nasty chemical burns. When it comes down to it, falling really is the least of a roofer’s worries.
Making roofing safer
While the nature of roofing work is inherently dangerous, there is much roofers can do to make it safer. Roofing contractors should have strict guidelines in place regarding the use of guardrails and harnesses to reduce the risk of falling. A very simple but effective safety measure is using warning lines around the perimeter of the roof. Because roofers are very focused on their work, they often fail to realize how close they are to the edge until it’s too late. A rope strung near the edge can save a roofers life.
Remember that roofing is dangerous work even for roofers. While many home improvement projects can be tackled alone, it’s best to leave roof repair to the professionals.
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