It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Last August’s issue ofHigh on Safetyintroduced the Model of Safety. This year, we bring you his evil twin. We call him UnSafety Boy, and he, too, is a poster child for OSHA … but it’s the bad kind of poster. OSHA has devoted two entire lists to him and his ilk in other construction trades: “The 100 Most Cited Construction Standards (Table 2-1)” and “The List of the 100 Most Frequently Cited OSHA Standards Related to Physical Hazards (Table 3-1).” We have highlighted a few from the first list that UnSafety Boy, not to mention his employer, has managed to violate in his short roofing career. With mistakes like these, it’s going to be a very short stint indeed. To get the whole scoop, visit

Table 2-1

1. Written Hazard Communication Program

2. Employer Training, Hazard Communication

3. Guarding Open-sided Floors/Platforms

4. Head Protection

5. Guardrail Specifications for Tubular Welded Scaffolds

6. General Housekeeping

7. Eye/Face Protection

8. Worn and Frayed Electrical Cords

9. Fall Protection for Low-pitched Roofs

10. Accessible First-aid Supplies

We have to admit, you do look totally cool, UnSafety Boy, but where is your fall protection?

My harness and lanyard are in my backpack somewhere but seriously, why all the hassle? I can tell where I am when I’m up on the roof. I mean only a moron would fall. Besides, harnesses and lifelines get in the way. I think they’re more dangerous.

OK, obviously you never read Chip Macdonald’s safety advice column in Roofing Contractor. But you aren’t even wearing the proper clothing or footwear. And no hard hat? Eye protection? Face mask? Aren’t you afraid of say, permanently disfiguring your pretty face? Mangling a limb or two? Breathing in toxic chemicals?

How would that be different than the mosh pit at the Limp Bizkit concert?

Interesting point. But it’s your employer’s duty to have fall protection. Doesn’t your company have a written Health and Safety Program or require you to attend training classes?

Yeah, I slept through all the safety classes—they were soooo boring. Assess hazards this, competent person that, blah blah blah. Really, who has time to be safe when you have to get the job done on time and under budget? That’s what my employer really cares about.

So what’s the most unsafe thing you’ve ever done?

Well, I’ve been roofing for about six months now, so there have been a few things, like this one time when I lit my cigarette with a hand-held torch. The super didn’t like that so much. I often stand on the top rung of ladders, hoist metal panels during electrical storms and recline on skylights to get tanned (I never use sunscreen!) during breaks.

It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Dude, you sound like my mom.

I mean, why can’t you be more like your brother, the Model of Safety? He wears long-sleeved shirts when applying hot asphalt, a mask when doing spray polyurethane foam, steel-toed boots —

I don’t want to hear another word about my caution-tape-unrolling, safety-checklist-creating, proper-scaffold-assembling perfect brother. But I am starting to understand the benefits of ear plugs!!!!

Poor UnSafety Boy! We want to help him be safer. Here are some places to find fall protection, personal protective gear and proper clothing: