Been a little busy since our trip to China last year. As much as I would love to toss out a blog posting once or twice a week, the task has fallen to the bottom of the to-do list.
Still a bit oversubscribed with work, I’m becoming more focused on the day when a significant portion of my time will be returned to my own control. Retiring from a thirty-one year stint in the wholesale roofing supply business is set to happen at the end of this year. New adventures await, but spending more time observing and writing about the roofing industry is one of the things I look forward to the most.
So this is just a little warm-up. May not be able to post weekly, but determined to get back into the habit of journaling and sharing. Here goes…
Our Brutal Reality
Two weeks ago I was blessed to take a trip through parts of Alabama and Mississippi. Over the past ten or fifteen years, visiting these places was part of my routine, but not so over the past three years. It’s always good to reconnect with work associates, customers, and friends, and especially so when it has been a long time.
Sadly, I was in Pearl, Miss. when I learned of a fatality incident involving a roofer working on the Vicksburg Convention Center. A young man, not quite 30, a husband and father. It never fails, this sick feeling I get whenever I encounter news of a fatal fall from a roofing project. To date, there are no known witnesses to the incident. The police stated in local reports that the only thing they know is that it happened: a young man was found dead, apparently from a fall that occurred while he was on the job for some minor flashing repair.
The crews were equipped with personal fall protection gear. The contractor follows safe working practices, and installs roofing in the tens of millions year after year. In spite of improving safety practices, no roofer or roofing contractor is immune from a fall.
I could go on and on about this. I have for 42 years since the first fatality incident I encountered (three weeks after starting in the business). But it just makes me sad, and it’s a bit cathartic to write about it. It’s all I have. I cannot protect every young person who decides to work in the roofing business. Falls are a brutal reality in the roofing industry but I do not believe they must be, forever.
So I will keep writing. And praying for this young man and the ones he leaves behind. May his soul rest in peace, and may we somehow figure out a way to make falls a thing of the past in roofing and construction.