Roofers wake up before you go to jail.


It's not a joke, safety on the roof matters. As you might imagine, being a roof consultant takes me all around the valley and every day I see one roofing crew after another who is not properly tied off. To make it even worse most of them do have a harness on, but for whatever reason, they don't make the final connection. Guys, the harness does not give you the power of flight.

Contractors tell me "It's so hard to get these guys to comply" and a few contractors told me that some of the subs offer a price without ropes and one with ropes. They are charging more to do the work LEGALLY. Think about that, subs are really saying "if you want us to obey the LAW ... you have to pay us more" or you might think about this. The contractor who is willing to pay the lower price is paying someone to break the law. We end up with one or two contractors who are willing to break the law and put their employee's life at risk, to make a few extra bucks. And we wonder what is wrong with our industry? 

" Contractor indicted on manslaughter charges in worker’s fatal fall from roof"

"Home improvement contractor charged with manslaughter"

The owner of a Saco roofing company who is charged with workplace manslaughter says he cannot force his workers to comply with federal safety standards on his job sites because they are independent contractors, but the Maine Department of Labor and a roofing industry legal group say that is incorrect

Does that scare you? Are you thinking "That's some other guy, some other place and it won't happen to me"? I bet you these guys thought that too, that it won't happen to them. Their guys are too experienced, or they are "independent contractors". Whatever, however, they justified letting guys risk their life for a few extra bucks in their pocket it's all gone now. Even if they manage to stay out of prison, with this publicity it's going to be very tough getting any business after its all done. 

The man who died was a 56-year-old construction worker who had been working for the company for 29 years.

This was an Arizona roofer, very experienced with a clean accident history. Falling even from a short distance can injure and even kill a person, and the law says that if a worker is more than 6 feet off the ground, they have to have fall protection. 

Roofers to you guys, is it really worth your life to resist tying off? Is the annoyance of a rope enough to make you risk your life? Do you think that you are too good to fall? If you do, please stop! You can't control everything and its called an accident for a reason.

Contractors, do you guys think "I told them" is going to keep you out of jail? Think again, do a search online and read about contractors who have been charged with manslaughter. Guess their defense was " I told them, but they won't listen"

It's not worth it, tie off or get off. 


Henry Staggs

Roof Consultant and Industry advocate