Why Roofing is One of America’s Most Dangerous Jobs

roofing dangers


Every home needs a roof, but we always caution homeowners against trying to take care of their own roofing needs. From the ground it might not look so bad. If you have some basic carpentry knowledge and a good head for heights, you might wonder why you shouldn’t attempt to DIY your roof repair or roof replacement. USA Today calls roofing one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Here’s why.

People Fall and Die

In 2016, More than 48 out of every 100,000 roofers had injuries that killed them. The most common cause of injury was a fall, slip or trip.

We get on rooftops year-round. Sometimes shingles are wet, loose or covered in moss. Even on a secure surface there’s the chance of a fall. We aren’t just responsible for our own body weight, we carry heavy loads of tools, decking, shingles and other roofing material.

Roofing Conditions Intensify Danger

We don’t usually get called to work on roofing in tip-top shape. Homeowners call because there’s a problem, so we often start out on a compromised surface.

Homes in Tyler, Dallas, Rockwall and Prosper often have high slopes. Steeply sloped roofs have a greater buildup of debris in valleys and crevices. When that debris sits, surfaces rot and pests infiltrate. Pine needles are slick and weakened roofing materials are unstable.

Flat commercial roofing presents its own problems. Often they have improper drainage and standing water degrades surfaces.

In the Texas heat, roofers are prone to dehydration. The job is physically demanding and people aren’t at their best when they’re tired and hungry. A split second of disorientation can lead to a life-threatening injury.

Real Roofing Injury Reports

The United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides information on roofing injuries that happened to roofing professionals last year. It’s a troubling list. If you’re thinking about attempting your own roof repair, we encourage you to read some of the reports. The Accident Search Results includes descriptions like the following:

  • Employee falls 25 feet and dies two days later
  • Employee falls when skylight and roof decking collapse
  • Employee is shocked when boom makes contact with power line
  • Employee sustains burns from hot roofing tar
  • Worker falls from roof and injures vertebrae and liver

The results only cover injuries to trained professionals. These are people who install roofing and repair roofs every day for a living. Imagine what the list might include if OSHA also included attempts from non-professionals.

At Advantage Roofing, we take safety seriously. If your roof needs replacement or repair, let us give you a free roofing evaluation. Get in touch and we’ll set up your no-pressure roof analysis.