Roofing remains one of the deadliest occupations in the United States, and two recent deaths making headlines emphasize the need for safety on the jobsite.
A story from ABC-affiliated WABC reported on a roofing contractor who fell to his death on Jan. 8 while working on a home in Yonkers, N.Y. The 51-year-old man fell 30 feet from the rooftop. Investigators are determining what caused the fall.
Meanwhile, on Dec. 30, a roofing contractor died after falling from the roof of a home near Clearwater Beach, Fla. According to the Belgrade News, police and firefighters responded to an emergency call around noon in the Island Estates area, an affluent enclave on the Gulf of Mexico.
Police claimed Richard Wells, 61, of Holiday, fell from the roof of a luxury home. He was checking on the project and fell from the roof to the pool deck, according to officials. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.
These tragic events highlight the dangers inherent in the roofing industry. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the rate of deaths in the roofing industry rose in 2021. The fatal work injury rate for roofers per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers was 59, well above the 47 recorded in 2020.
Roofing remains one of the top three deadliest occupations in the U.S., below logging workers (82.2 per 100,000) and fishing and hunting workers (75.2 per 100,000).
The overall fatal work injury rate in 2021 was 3.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, which was up for the second consecutive year. It’s the highest the rate has been since 2016.
Fall protection remains the top most frequently cited workplace safety standard for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“Despite advancements in workplace safety, we continue to see the same types of violations each year. It’s more important than ever employers seek education and resources to keep their workers safe,” said Lorraine Martin, National Safety Council president and CEO, in a written statement.