Roof Safety: Just in Case
This issue of Roofing Contractor focuses on safety. At the same time, the storm season in our hemisphere is getting ready to go. Just a few comments on each of these “just in case” topics.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) continues to focus on falls and you should plan now and be ready for an OSHA inspector to show up on your jobsite. Good reason, as OSHA reported in calendar year 2016, nearly two-thirds of all private-sector construction fatalities (excluding highway collisions) were the result of what it calls, “The Fatal Four:” falls being number one, followed by struck-by-object, electrocution, and caught-in/between.
And of the Fatal Four, falls claimed the lives of more workers than the other three combined.
Statistics such as these should not come as a surprise to anyone working in the roofing industry. OSHA has been on the warpath against falls for years and they have made no secret of it. But OSHA is not the only reason to take the time now to sit back and have a long look at your safety program. And, perhaps more importantly, the safety culture at your roofing company.
I am certain that the good people of OSHA have the best intentions. And I realize that your safety managers and the great tools and training and all the other things that you invest in to produce a great safety program are key success factors. But I’ve been convinced over time that a company culture that supports and encourages safety as a top priority is an absolute must if you want a best-in-class safety record.
The tough part of changing a company culture is that it begins with the owner. And the “trickle-down” effect will not work here. You don’t just go out and buy some books, start new training programs, or even hire a full-time safety manager. You have to lead. Body, mind, and spirit. I’ve seen it, and it works. The company owner must be engaged with every facet of safety every day, and every single member of the team must fully understand and buy into it.
Never had a definable safety culture? Start today and don’t look back. You will be rewarded, believe me.
From nearly all the predictions I’ve read, the 2018 storm season is likely to be as tough as last year. Remember Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate? And there’s no reason to believe the wind and hail season is going to be any milder. Might as well be prepared. Just in case.
No words of wisdom here, just a gentle reminder. Take some time to let your customers know that there are things you can do for them to make their buildings just a little safer in the event of a storm. I realize many of you are busy now and the prospect of working to drum up more work is not a high priority.
But who are they going to call when the storm strikes and damages their property? Will they wait an additional month or two for just any contractor, or the one with whom they have a relationship? A little prep work in advance might be good for you and your valuable customers and potential customers. Just in case.
- OSHA common statistics
- OSHA Federal State Summaries (csv)
- PRWeb 2018 Hurricane Prediction
- North Atlantic Hurricane Season
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration