There are always those jobs that take more chutzpah than others, ones that deserve more of a tip of the hat.The Bureau of Labor Statistics just disclosed the most dangerous jobs in America, and not only did roofers come at No. 6, but take a look at some that didn’t even make the top 10:
• Police officers
• Taxi drivers
• Security guards“Some of the results may surprise you,” was how Bloomberg Business understatedly put it.
We’ll reveal who did top the list with more than three and a half times the 36.26 fatalities, per 100,000 full-time employees, that earned roofers their high-ranking status. But here’s what those deaths should tell all amateurs who are thinking of tackling a job as big as installing a roof themselves: Don’t do it.
For those who insist on doing the DIY thing, at least be sure to follow these safety tips:
• Minimize your risk of slipping. An average of six roofers die each month in the U.S. from falls, according to Professional Roofing magazine. So never work on a wet roof, wear soft-soled boots for the best traction, and use safety equipment like a harness when working on a steeply pitched roof. And if you do fall, pray that you remembered to don a helmet to protect your head.
• The 36-inch rule. Some of those fatal falls resulted from having to lug heavy material up a ladder. Yours should extend 36 inches above the landing or roof eave to make transitioning to and from the roof more secure. And this warning from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration: “Do not stand on the three top rungs.”
• Avoid electrical hazards. Roofers also suffer fatal burns and electrocution because electricity can leap, or “arc,” from a wire to a ladder several feet away. Thus, for starters, make sure your ladder is made of non-conductive wood or fiberglass.
Always cut away from your body.
Having second thoughts?
Unless you’re Warren Buffett (who still lives in the same modest, five-bedroom house in Dundee, Omaha, he bought for $31,500 in 1958), odds are your home is your biggest asset. So GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, has made it easy for you to find the most reputable, dependable and adequately insured professionals in your area by searching its website’s GAF Master Elite Contractor database.
And as for the most dangerous job in America? Fisherman, with 131.52 fatalities per 100,000 full-time employees.