When you think of roofers and their job, two general categories are combined into one: Residential and Commercial. The long and the short answer to that question is they both do it in the same way. Residential and commercial roofers, both make it a point to check the weather before they go in to do any installation or repair work. This helps them avoid problems like slowness, ice, and snow accumulation, and wind damage. In addition, in most cities and towns, they have to have special permission to do work on a roof because of the risk of injury posed by working on a tall roof or one with extremely sharp or irregular edges. They also might need specialized training for their work and might have to abide by certain codes and regulations to maintain a roof in these areas.
But residential roofing jobs are far from finished. Once the initial installation is completed, and the final tweaks have been made, a roofing job only exists for a couple of months before it’s time to move out and put the new ones up. During that time, many problems can occur that would cost the homeowner a lot more money in labor and materials than repair or replace the roof. These problems can include:
Roofers and commercial roofing company owners fail to take the extra step of protecting themselves from these dangers. They think that because their jobs involve only installing and repairing roofs, they won’t need to be concerned with the kinds of things that ordinary homeowners face. However, if they don’t pay attention, they could find themselves unexpectedly in harm’s way. In fact, some of the injuries that people get from roof failure or other roof-related accidents every year are caused by the negligence of roofing contractors and owners.
One of the most common injuries that workers get from working on roofs is falling off a ladder. Whether doing maintenance work on a metal or asphalt roof or painting a roof, some roofers repair or install the ladders instead of securing them with the proper equipment. When ladders are being used by roofers they often don’t use the harnesses and other safety gear that would help prevent them from falling off. Asphalt roofs often have steep edges where ladders can’t safely stand on so they’re placed at an angle to prevent tipping.
Roofers are also at risk from sharp blades on high-rise roofs. Asphalt and metal roofing systems are often built with steep-slope roofs. These types of roofs are unstable and can be dangerous for workers who don’t follow the correct procedures when doing maintenance or painting projects. Roofers who use steep-slope roofs should invest in personal protective equipment like helmet, hard hat, and gloves. If the roof goes up on a ladder and comes down the worker may fall off and sustain serious injuries.
Another common injury that workers get from a bad roofing job or from a bad roof repair is falling on their backs after climbing ladders or scaffolds. When workers try to climb ladders or scaffolds to do roof repair, they may fall backwards due to the ladder or the materials on top of the scaffold. If this happens on an asphalt-shingled roof repair or installation job, it can cause a back injury that can’t be taken lightly.
Other dangers include falling objects, falling from ladders or scaffolds, falling through wet holes, and slipping on hot bitumen or tar roofs. Workers can become hypothermia even during low-slope roofs repair or installation because of the extreme heat from hot tar and low-slope roofs. This can lead to frostbite or even death. Hot bitumen and hot tar roofing materials can cause burns and severe injury if they’re not installed properly.
Roofers work in all kinds of weather, and they face a lot of dangers that other people wouldn’t have to worry about. If you want to keep your roofing work injury-free, you need to make sure that your contractor is licensed, insured, and uses quality products. You can also help to protect your workers and yourself by making sure your roof is built on solid, level ground and that there are no gaps where debris might fall. If you have questions about roofing work that you believe may have a connection to these risks, talk to your contractor right away.