If roofing contractors are encouraged to take their time, assess their surroundings carefully, and double-check their work (especially when setting up and using fall protection equipment), they’ll be less likely to fall and get hurt on the job.

It’s important to note that taking a few extra moments to evaluate these things is worthwhile. The project delays that result from a fall-related injury or fatality will take up much more time than what was spent preventing the fall in the first place. 

In addition to encouraging careful consistent work over rushing, roofers can take other steps to mitigate falls while still meeting project deadlines, including the following: 

  • Plan Ahead and Consider Potential Delays: Careful planning (with considerations for things like delayed materials shipments or inclement weather) will help to avoid time pressure and ensure workers have plenty of time to complete projects without feeling that they have to cut corners. 
  • Provide Proper Training and Equipment: Workers should have access to fall protection equipment, such as harnesses, roof anchors, helmets, and lifelines. They should also receive training on how to properly use this equipment from day one (with regular refreshers).
  • Negotiate to Avoid Unrealistic Deadlines: If a client has an unrealistic deadline, project leaders need to communicate with them and work together to set a date that works for both parties. They should emphasize the importance of safety for team members and highlight the importance of avoiding time pressure to ensure quality work that is up to the client’s standards.

By following the strategies listed above, many roofing accidents and injuries can be avoided.

In the event that an incident does occur, though, it’s vital that crews have access to a first aid kit so they can address injuries right away. The first aid kit should include a variety of bandages and splints for broken bones.   

Valuing Safety Enhances Project Success

Safety should always be a top priority in the construction world, but especially when it comes to roofing projects.

By prioritizing safety and avoiding time pressure, project managers can ensure the job gets done correctly without potential quality issues that could create problems for the client (and potentially the company’s reputation). They also avoid slowdowns caused by on-the-job accidents and injuries, as well as workers' compensation expenses and other costs.

Making small but meaningful changes like those shared above can make a big difference for all members of the roofing crew.

Do you encounter many or any of these same challenges when it comes to safety? How do you meet those challenges? Tell us in the comments.