If someone asked you what the No. 1 danger for roofers was, would you quickly say that it was falling from the roof to the ground below? It feels obvious. It’s a clear risk and it’s the reason that those who don’t have a stomach for heights can’t do this job in the first place.
That is a major risk, and experts note that falls cause most deaths in the construction industry. That includes roofers. Your answer is correct. The only problem is that it does not go far enough. Roofers face a multitude of injury risks on the job. Here are just a few:
1. Falling from ladders
Many falls happen before workers even get to the roof itself. In fact, on the roof, the workers may feel the most secure. Climbing up and down puts them right on the edge and raises the stakes of even a small slip. Plus, if the workers have to move tools and supplies up and down the ladders, they may not feel as secure as they’d like to be.
2. Noise exposure
Workers have to use power tools, hammers, air compressors and many other tools. They get subjected to a constant battering of noise. Without proper ear protection, they could suffer temporary or even permanent hearing loss. One of the major downsides here is that, unlike a broken arm or a cut, that hearing loss may never heal.
3. Power tools
Speaking of power tools, many of the tools of the trade have inherent dangers. Workers often use circular saws, reciprocating saws, electric drills and air nail guns at various stages of the project. All can cause harm to themselves or others with just the slightest mistake.
4. Extreme temperatures
No workers face the same type of sun exposure that roofers see on a normal summer afternoon. When Colorado goes through a heatwave, they may feel it more than anyone else. A worker who suffers from dehydration or a heat stroke on the roof of a building is in serious danger.
5. Electrical lines
When working on both homes and commercial properties, roofers may have to work around overhanging electrical lines or lines within the house — under the very roof they’re fixing or installing. With the live current all around them, they always have to be very careful not to make a mistake. There are also errors with miscommunication where workers think the lines aren’t live, that they were taken offline for their safety, but no one actually turned them off.
Again, falls are a risk, but it’s crucial to know that they’re not the only one. Workers who do get hurt on the job also need to know their legal rights to compensation in Colorado.