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Under One Roof

Canadian Roofing Reference Manual


There are many reasons for accidents, including poor judgement, variations in personal ability and mechanical aptitude, lack of proper training, mental or physical fatigue, or simple carelessness and neglect. Many accidents are caused by circumstances beyond the control of the individual worker and are the result of poor planning, lack of proper protective equipment, or carelessness by others. Workers are often under pressure to complete the job quickly. Taking shortcuts with respect to safety is dangerous and can even be deadly. The single most important task workers have is to protect themselves and their surroundings, not just for themselves, but also their fellow workers, clients and the public.

All accidents are preventable. They are usually caused by unsafe acts, unsafe conditions or a combination of both which violate commonly accepted safe work practices. For example, a roofer carrying buckets of hot bitumen up a ladder or overloading a hoist is committing an unsafe act.

In Canada, there are provincial and territorial laws in place to protect workers from injury. It is imperative that all workers comply with the Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) standards and requirements in the province or territory they are working in. Failure to comply with these laws and requirements could result in penalties, fines, or even imprisonment.

To create a safe working environment, you must:

  • Make Safety your No. 1 priority.
  • Always be aware of potential hazards that could cause
  • Never work in a potentially hazardous situation if you are prone to making a mistake (i.e. fatigue).
  • Never attempt to work while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or lack of sleep.

Accidents can be reduced by pre-job instruction and on-going safety meetings. Working conditions and all equipment must be inspected continuously and any unsafe conditions reported and corrected.

Remember, safety is everyone’s responsibility. A roofer needs to develop a “Safety First” attitude and follow safe work practices. As a member of a roofing crew you are responsible not only for your own safety, but that of your co-workers and the general public. You owe it to yourself, your family and your employer.