Roof construction is an inherently dangerous industry. Roofers work high up so are at risk to fall. In competitive markets they are often on tight deadlines, so many Denver roofers get injured working in adverse weather. The combination of working outdoors, high above the ground, with heavy staple guns and materials make the job one of the most dangerous in Colorado.
The most common injuries for roofers are broken bones from falls. One slip and a Denver roofing contractor may be out of the business permanently. Clambering around beams requires a lot of nimbleness that may fade as roofers age. As data from aging roofers is collected, there is another possible injury being associated with Denver roofing companies, and that is repetitive stress injuries.
One study said that over half of all roofers who leave the Denver roofing industry do so because of pain induced by repetitive stress or other health reasons. Leaving the industry early can also be crippling financially. Many roofers do not have many other skills than constriction, so they may have trouble supporting themselves if they are forced into early retirement because of health reasons.
Repetitive stress is caused by doing the same stressful actions over and over. Things like carrying heavy roofing supplies up ladders and nailing frames are possible contributors. In houses with shingles or tile roofs, roof contractors have to nail thousands of shingles to the roof with a gun. They are often hunched over, nailing roofing tile after roofing tile in the sun. Each firing of the nail gun is like a small shock wave that can damage bone, nerves and connective tissue over time.
Unfortunately many of these roofers who have to retire early suffer from skeletal diseases. Being a roofer past the age of 50 is not very common because of the stresses on the body. So at a time when most occupations are reaching their peak, roofers are breaking down. They even seem to physically age faster than the norm. Most construction workers are paid by the hour, so as their bodies break down, older roofers have to take time off and miss work, which means they are getting paid less and face the possibility of not being rehired for the next job.