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ROOF SAFETY; DOES NOBODY CARE??

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May 29, 2013 at 11:20 am

Estorey

So there's this thing called roof safety.......Or at least there used to be. Guys, I'm not here to harp on anyone but I thought it was only right that I say what's on my mind.

Where's the safety these days. I mean come on, unsafe roofers are the reason that our insurance rates (for those who actually have insurance)go up. I periodically get emails from the coffeeshop about articles. The last one I got showed 2 guys drinking water. The title was to "Keep Hydrated". What about the safety harnesses they don't have on?? What about t-shirts they seem to forgot? Come on. I read another article about a guy falling off a roof. Where was his harness?? I've been in this business my entire life. I know the safety hassles but until you actually have a serious event, people just keep ignoring it. Don't want OSHA to stop by your jobsite or are you tired of them stopping by?? Guess what, most of that occurance is our fault as roofers not going by the rules.

I was on a job last year and my customer wanted me on another job (I am a subcontractor), so he had another crew replace me on the one I was on. I was coating a metal roof with a ton of translucent panels on it. I had plywood to cover them when in those areas. We had our harnesses as well. A few days after we left that job, the crew that replaced us used nothing. Not one bit of fall protection. A man stepped on one of the translucent panels, fell 30 feet and landed on his head on a concrete floor. To this day, I don't know if he lived or not.

Gentlemen please. Get with it and think smart. Sure, it may take a little bit longer, but it is worth it. Every roofer not being safe not only jeopardizes the lives of their workers which affects their families, only makes all of us look like idiots. it's not fair for the guys that DO go by OSHA REGULATIONS!! For those of you that DO follow OSHA regulations, I thank you.

People that send this website pictures of people not using safety should not be posted on this website because you know better! In fact, I strongly encourage the roofers that are smart enough to practice good safety, to call into OSHA when they see these guys not representing our trade in a safe manner! It's those guys that make all of us look bad and quite frankly I'm tired of it. A REAL professional utilizes OSHA safety practices.

I am curious of the comments I will see on this post. Anybody sticking up for not being safe for the well being of their workers, just know that your ignorance will be obvious.

May 29, 2013 at 1:44 pm

twill59

I have just 2 things 2 say: OSHA: Some of it silly big government nonsense, but most of it is good.

Too bad that the people affected have no say.

And #1 violator of Safety Common Sense? GOVERNMENT

May 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm

vickie

Dear Estory:

I agree with your impassioned plea about safety but I think you missed the point of the photo. If you would have clicked through from the email you will see that photo was taken in the 80's and it was meant to be tongue in cheek correlating with the subject of the email. By posting that photo I am not promoting unsafe practices any more than posting the photo weeks before with the elderly lady on the roof was encouraging old people to get on a roof. It should be very clear that my photos are posted to show how absurd or scary people can be.

FYI: I will be posting a photo in a couple of weeks with a shirtless guy roofing with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. The inference will be "look at how we used to do things" - not "do it this way". Again, My posting photos of unsafe working conditions taken decades ago is not promoting those practices but the exact opposite.

Additionally the point of the topic I reposted was so show even the most cautious people make mistakes. My eblast was about not getting too complacent with your safety. How did any of this make you mad?

Being such an advocate of safety as you seem to be you should be happy I am trying to help. Please try and view the photos in the manner in which they were entended and I am sorry you are in such a bad mood. You came real close to putting me in one!

May 29, 2013 at 5:48 pm

OLE Willie

If Mama aint' happy, aint' nobody happy!

:unsure:

May 29, 2013 at 7:05 pm

egg

I care a lot and I always have. I'm not wearing a harness in most cases and I am completely unapologetic about it. My state deviated from that stupid six-foot ruling. I don't go shirtless anymore, but if I wanted to, as I sometimes used to, I would, and would take great comfort in knowing that professionalism is based on many things, general physical and emotional presence being one of them. Smoke my pipe pretty much any time and anywhere I want, though not inside other people's spaces, and I'm unapologetic about that as well.

Circumstances dictate comportment; they always have. The number one dictum to put in company policy is to carefully observe circumstances, which change all the time.

Most people are incapable of doing that, incapable of making adjustments, and incapable of accurately reading most of the things that affect sanity on the jobsite. Sanity is the goal. Sanity is always the goal.

"Safety" or what is now signified by that word, is important as an aspect of sanity, not the other way around.

May 29, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Rockydog

So true, egg, but we as the gatekeepers must keep an eye on those that enter your sanity, err safety zone.

May 30, 2013 at 2:08 am

Vaa Fakaosifolau

We have a system over here called Site Safe (google it) and it has worked well to get everyone compliant, its not Govt run but sponsored by the GC's and others in the construction Industry. There are various stages (classes) of SS Passes ( Certificates). Last year I did the Height and Harness Training Course and got my ticket after roofing for 40 years :laugh: Learned a few new tricks, like how to rescue someone who has fallen over the side in a harness (and has 4 minutes before death due to blood supply termination to the brain). The general consensus amongst the class was that if that is the way it goes, you would be better off, if you can, to knife the harness straps and to hit the ground and take the broken legs :cheer: Did you know harnesses only have a life of 2 years and have to be replaced. Aus and NZ Safety Standards are pretty tough

May 30, 2013 at 5:10 am

GSD

Safety has nothing to do with OSHA, policy, meetings, handbooks, etc.

I have roofed for 30 years and I have never worn a harness. all of my injuries that have occured to me, no amount of OSHA or meetings could have stopped them.

If you need anything except yourself to tell you whats safe and what isn't, you really shouldn't be on the roof.

I have let people go because they just weren't safe. had nothing to do with something or someone telling me they weren't safe, I could see it.

May 30, 2013 at 8:40 am

wywoody

Even though My company is mostly in compliance and I constantly see others that are not, I have never felt an urge to call them in to WSHA (our version of OSHA). I believe you take care of your own and allow others to do things their way and usually people will eventually get what's coming to them.

You, Estorey, reveal what kind of vindictive person you are by advocating turning in violators. But I don't take you seriously or even think you are for real. A person has a major fall doing a job you were working on and you don't even know if they survived?! Come on.

May 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Estorey

Ok, First of all, to Vicky the Boss, I was not implying anything bad against this website. I know you would never promote anything unsafe and I apologize if it sounded that way. I am just tired of seeing unsafe practice.

For the jerk saying that I'm vendictive and "Not Real", the reason I don't know if the guy is alive or not, is because I stopped doing business with them. If you want to stick up for unsafe practice guys, it's your call. Why would I call OSHA?? For the BIGGEST reason, if it saves only ONE life, it's worth it.

I'm sorry guys, if I have offended anyone, well then I would assume that you aren't safe. If that's your choice, then so be it. Just don't risk the lives of others. I'm very proud to ensure my guys are safe. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if an individual with a family died because I didn't do MY job.

May 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Mike H

I care, and we take great strides to be safe. We've actually won some awards and received some recognitions for our efforts.

But we've had two serious accidents in the last year.

Accident 1: Man appears to have simply blacked out upon stepping on the top rung of the ladder, pitched off backward and fortunately landed on a co-worker, saving his life. He's still pretty messed up, and may never roof again, but he is alive.

Accident 2: A steam line that was supposed to be disabled had a release as a man walked past it. Badly burning him with 2nd degree burns over most of his back, arms and butt crack. He's in amazing spirits, but it will be a good while before he can stand the heat of the sun again. Maybe a year.

No amount of osha, on our part, could have stopped these. However, the customer's part in the steam release could have been very simply avoided.

May 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Estorey

Mike H,

There's always going to be those unavoidable instances. When it comes to customer negligence, however, do not agree to and make sure your contracts do not read that your company holds the owner's and their representatives harmless for injuries resulting from their incompetence and or negligence.

I saw a situation years ago where the owner did not disclose the proper information about his property and a man got injured to the point of never being able to work again and the owner was clearly negligent, HOWEVER, because the contract read that way (from the General Contractor), This poor guy wasn't able to go after anyone.

May 30, 2013 at 2:07 pm

wywoody

Estore, your response answers the question whether you are a vindictive, know-it-all, snitching little-minded man.

Nobody answering this thread has advocated not having hired help in compliance. Working owners are exempt, which means we still retain the right to determine safety measures for ourselves even if the state dictates what we have our employees do. Quit your smug pretense of assuming anyone that doesn't agree with you is irresponsible. It won't fly here.

May 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm

OLE Willie

Hi,

I consider myself to be one of the safest roofers out here.I may not wear a harness but I take ALL other precautions. As in the best safety being to not have a fall to begin with whether your tied to a rope or not. I don't want to fall half way to the ground and have my vertebrae snapped in half from the rope catching either.

I always tie my ladder off in a way that will not allow it to slide horizontally or allow the bottom to kick out. Even though I take full advantage of the grip that an old couch cushion provides, I still will not go up a steep sloped roof on a cushion without a secure walk board underneath me just in case.

I have a very good feel for the roof and ultimate respect for it. Which is something I can not say holds true concerning many of the governments rules and regulations.

I am self employed with no employees. OSHA does not posses the ability to give me a citation for anything as long as I am working alone.

If I feel a job would be unsafe for me to do, then I will pass on the invitation to bid altogether. I carry a 24 ft. ladder. If that don't reach with room to spare then it's "Sorry I couldn't help you".

If I hired employees to work for me then all of this would be another story. I could not and would not expect others to be safe on their own free will. Especially younger people. Only other advanced experience roofers can be expected to posses these same qualities and only some of them.

I am a roof repair specialist and could care less about re-roofing a house. If you see me up on the roof doing a repair with no harness on and you decide to call OSHA, tell them to hurry because most likely by the time they get there I will be working on the next one across town.

With all that said I agree 100% that if you are going to put other people in harms way ( which occurs simply by putting them on a roof ) then you need to follow all safety rules and regulations. And also implement many of your own!

Peace! ;)

May 30, 2013 at 8:30 pm

vickie

Mama is happy again because Estory said he was sorry. Now Estory and WyWoody have got off on the wrong foot. Estory is not vindictive and Wywoody is not a jerk. We've got a lot of passion for our opinions. Now hug it out!

May 31, 2013 at 12:29 am

egg

Well, it may be time for a trip down linguistic lane. Per diem is related to carpe diem by the day. Woody might just be annoyed because nobody payed him what they should have to drive that motorcycle through the desert way back in the early diems. The benefits were just uplifting panoramas and self-reliance while building independence and a first-rate mind, day after day. A person can get carpal tunnel syndrome grabbing at small amounts of money on a repetitive basis. Could even happen to you while nailing on shingles though even a four cents a nail, it didn't happen to me. Minimum wage on the other hand, just gives you plain old tunnel syndrome although you could also get carpal tunnel syndrome while you were at it if you happened to be continuously clutching at the walls. Sometimes it seems like we are walled in by the tunnel of days. But one diem does not equal another diem really and hopefully never will. Each day is a unique gift. Carping per diem is not latin-based, per se or even per say. Our rugged old English has accumulated a lot of variety and that one is Scandinavian from karpa (to dispute.) There is benefit from disputation, even sometimes the carping variety. How this shakes out for anyone in particular is not for me to say, only that it is all somehow related and I get a per diem allowance for such things.


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