Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reality Check

And right back to reality.
Turned on the morning news and heard of a local roofer who fell. He did not walk away. The end of another life came all to early. A family will spend years asking why they lost a loved one. Not sure if I knew him or not. They didn't give his name over the news yet.

I've managed and been lucky enough to walk away from not one, but three falls. One from scaffolding while working on the eaves and fascia of a roof. One from a two and a half story which had a new deck, but didn't yet have the railing. So I fell from the roof and then went over the deck and on down a hill behind. The other from the roof itself, but after getting my breath and taking limb and bone count I managed to get up and walk away.

Most do not live past their first fall from a roof. Those that do learn instantly what real pain is all about from broken bones.

Today we have safety harnesses which is something I never had to work with. But still, roofing is a very dangerous job. I always compared it to working on the side of a hill covered with hidden loose rocks all day long.

The worst a person can do is feel safe and lose their fear when working on a roof. Always feeling fear is what keeps you alert. Show me a roofer who says he doesn't feel fear and I'll show you a liar or someone who is not safe to work with...

Working at roofing is wonderful. There is the feeling of being a bird and looking down over life as it goes on. There are the beautiful views that few ever get the chance to see. There is a serenity to the workplace. There is the money.

But you earn that money from working in unsafe working conditions. You earn that money from working in the heat of a hot sun with no place for shade. You earn that money carrying the heavy materials. You earn that money with the strain on your back which eventually causes back pain.

Sometimes roofers come to an end of earning that money from a loose shingle or a rotted unseen board or even a simple slip.

So I'm compelled for todays blog to say hello to my fellow roofers.
Be safe guys and gals. You are to precious and needed to lose. Always keep your mind on your footing and your work. Appreciate that little fear that goes through your mind and your gut. Let it guide you.

And while it's in my mind, hey when you were cleaning up you missed a nail way over there : )

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