This problem seems to be getting worse, and can you believe that some roofers are saying stuff like "He didn't know what he was doing" and other such comments. Pointing the finger at the kid who died! Some roofers say "I never fell off a roof" ... to that I say "No shit, the guy who did ISN'T HERE". Aren't we all brothers and sisters in this roofing game, shouldn't we all be looking out for each other and not laying blame on the poor guy who was killed?
And what is this deal lately when I call out safety issues some roofers say stuff like "homo" or "that's gay" even more explicit than that. What exactly is "gay" about working safely? Do they really mean to imply that being a straight man means to work in dangerous situations like a dumb ass? Seriously, you would be amazed at some of the stuff guys say and it makes no sense at all. Are these really the sort of guys we want on our roof?
Roofing is a dangerous and hard job, that could take your life is you don't treat it with the respect that it deserves. Don't play games guys, don't risk your life to show how tough you are. If your coworkers are making fun of you, tell them to STFU ... you are going home tonight and every other night to your family.
Do I sound a little angry? I hope so because I am. I am angry that a man died a few blocks from me on site that I personally reported as being unsafe. That childish idiots are out there walking on roofs calling people with proper fall protection gay and homo. It not only makes no sense, but there is also nothing about being gay that would prohibit anyone from being a fantastic roofer. There is nothing about being straight that makes you a superhero who won't DIE from a two or three-story drop.
This is OUR industry, we make it what it is. What will you do today to make it better?
Contractors, be on your guard. It is YOUR LEGAL DUTY to make sure your workers are safe and protected. You can be fined, and even thrown in jail. Think about that, if you loose your company or your freedom does "I can't control them" sound as convincing? Labor shortage or not, if crews are working without fall protection they shouldn't work at all. Let them go with out work for a while and I bet all the excuses for not wearing fall protection vaporize. And you contractors who are hiring cheaper crews who charge less for not wearing fall protection, SHAME ON YOU cut it out!
Take a look at just a few news articles I found
Oh before I finish my little rant here, you owners are not off the hook either. You can very easily have a ZERO tolerance policy and stop the work if you see guys are not tied off. And if the contractor or the crew laughs and keeps working anyways, throw them off the job entirely. If a crew loses work and changes their tune, what do you think a contractor will do when they start losing jobs.
Fall protection over six feet is the LAW, not an option.
Roof Consultant and Industry Advocate
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