Metal Roofing Shoes Should Be Required
For the purpose of this Hub, I will be explaining why I think metal roofing shoes should be an OSHA requirement for installers.
In the past metal roofs were not considered as traditional roofing but this has really changed over the last few years.
With all the benefits that come along with this type of roofing it is really no big surprise that their popularity across the country has risen to new heights. As with any new product that has become popular in the buildiing industry, there are always new risks. So that opens the doors to creating ways to minimize those risk, for example speciality tools, shoes or clothing.
With the increase in sales of metal roofs comes the increase of contractors/roofers installing them. This has brought about changes in the roofing business which may not have really been addressed yet, like the safety of walking them while installing or making repairs.
For most roofs walking on the metal does not pose a problem for experienced roofers but with steeper pitches on the roof, it becomes more difficult even for the most experienced roofers.
Having the proper safety equipment sometimes goes further than just tools. It can also include clothing, hats, belts and yes even speciality shoes. Safety should always be a priority.
These shoes would allow workers to walk safely on roofs that are 2 times steeper than your average roof.
Roofs that are on a 4/12 pitch or less, can be walked upon easily by experienced roofers as long as the roof is dry, and free of oil, dust and pollen.
Metal roofs that are above a 4/12 pitch need to be walked on with roofing shoes for the safety of the installers.
This would assuredly cut down on slips and falls, which in turn helps keep down insurance costs and premiums. Safety for workers on the ground would be a major benefit which I will try to cover in a follow up hub.
In my opinion roofing laborers are not adequately protected by employers or OSHA. I believe that strictly enforcing a simple rule of using proper equipment for the task at hand would benefit consumers, employers, and roofing laborers.
Although this seems like an added expense or hassle, these shoes can save both life and limb which neither can be replaced after the fact.
As you can see with the pictures in the above slide-show, that installing this type of roofing without the proper shoes could be perilous. There are more and more types of metal roofs available today and with their increasing popularity this safety issue needs to be addressed. These new materials seem to be causing more accidents and it seems that something as simple as the right shoes could remedy the situation. A little common sense is really all it takes.
One of the reasons for the increased popularity is the tax credit available for adding a metal roof. The tax credit is for Energy Star compliant products and allows you to claim 30% of the cost of the products up to a maximum of $1500. To qualify it must also be your primary residence. Unfortunately new construction and rental properties do not qualify.
Although there are many restrictions in place in the construction industry, these restrictions or safety requirements always need to be revised and updated. With all the incentives to make the switch to metal, the sales and work is increasing rapidly, but when the numbers are tallied, I think the accident rate could be exponential. I really hope this changes but currently there are not any requirements for installers to wear the proper shoes.