Hiring a Safe Roofer: The Signs of a Diligent Business
No roofer bidding for a contract is going to admit that they don’t take safety seriously — that they have a lousy history with accidents and injuries or that their crew isn’t trained very well.
It’s up to the GC — or any decision-making entity — to determine the record of a business they’re considering for a contract. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) keeps meticulous records regarding incidents, injuries, and accidents. The decision makers should investigate these records and assess the company’s recordable injury rate (RIR), which is a record of the total number of injuries compared to total hours worked for that year.
The best companies are proud of their records and will come to the pre-qualification process with these documents in hand.
Staying in Shape with Continuing Education and Training
Professional athletes stay in shape year-round to compete at the highest level.
Safety training is no different. GCs and other hiring entities should look for companies that continually educate their crews and foremen with refresher training. This kind of repetitive training not only reinforces the fundamentals that the crews already know, but it keeps them up to date on the latest changes, trends, technologies, requirements, and regulations.
Waiting until a driver’s forklift certification is out of date to revisit his qualifications is the type of lackluster approach that causes accidents. Perpetual retraining is one of the backbones of safety and accident prevention, and GCs should be looking for roofing companies that enforce it.
When searching for a safe roofer, look for businesses that conduct in-house training directly with their safety coordinator, and check for certifications and qualifications for your specific job.
Don’t Tell Me You’re Safe; Show Me You’re Safe.
If given the option, no one wants to work for an unsafe company. Look for long-term employees, especially in the superintendent and foreman positions. Unsafe companies have a hard time retaining their workers. Also, be sure to scrutinize the roofing company’s:
- Fall-prevention methods
- Personal protection equipment
- Use of chemicals during roofing jobs
- Fire-protection methods
Companies competing for lucrative contracts have a major incentive to conceal what they can. Look for businesses that are transparent about their safety records — and who operate conscientiously to make sure the future is accident-free.
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