According to the US Department of Labor, roofing causes the fourth most injuries of any job in the United States.
When most people picture a dangerous job, they think of manufacturing, logging, or emergency response. While these jobs do come with risks, there is one profession that belongs on that list. That industry is roofing, which, according to the US Department of Labor, causes the fourth most injuries of any job in the United States. If you work in the roofing industry it is important to learn about the risks of the roofing profession and do what you can to avoid injury.
There are many ways a roofer can sustain an injury, but the following causes account for a significant portion of accidents.
Falls – The most frequent and dangerous cause of roofing accidents is falling. The reason this happens so much is that a significant portion of a roofer’s job is done on a second story or higher. Given how much time they spend off of the ground, accidents are bound to happen, and when they do, the injuries tend to be severe.
Overexertion – Roofing is a profession that is very physical. Workers frequently lift heavy objects, operate machinery, and use tools. Because of this, they are at risk of overexertion, which is a precursor to many injuries.
Falling Objects – While most accidents occur on the roof, some also happen on the ground. The reason for this is falling objects. Roofers generally work with many tools and materials, and these things sometimes fall from the roof. When they do, workers at ground-level are at risk.
Weather – Rain, snow, and excessive heat are three more factors that cause roofing accidents. In the case of rain and snow, they do so by making the roof slippery. In extreme weather, workers are more likely to make mistakes or suffer heat-related ailments.
Injury Prevention Tips
Though roofing is a dangerous profession, plenty of employees make it through their entire career without sustaining an injury. The way they do so is by adhering to the following injury prevention tips.
Resist Distractions – No matter what you do to make a living, you often start to take a casual approach to your day to day tasks. In the case of roofers, they might do things like text or eat while walking on a roof. This is incredibly unsafe and should never happen. Instead, give your worksite your full attention until you are out of dangerous areas.
Never Engage in Horseplay – This should go without saying, but unfortunately, many roofers suffer injuries due to horseplay. You should never participate in this activity, and if you see it happening, consider speaking to a supervisor.
Hydrate – One of the most significant roofing risks is heat stress, which makes you more prone to other dangers. To avoid it, make sure you are hydrated throughout the work day.
Take Breaks – Taking frequent breaks is an effective way of warding off both heat stress and overexertion. For this reason, you should take breaks as often as you can.
If you are ever injured in a roofing accident, you will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. To explore this option, be sure to report your injury right after it happens. Once you do that, you speak with a work injury attorney to guide you through the rest of the process.