One of the first things you have to do as a roofing manager is to make sure the crew doesn’t play around with the tools. No, this is not a given, it’s an essential part of the process.
I’m really not kidding. You turn your back for a second, and some of these people will be yukking it up with sensitive hydraulic power tools that are as dangerous as some murder weapons. Just like at a public pool, a roofing crew needs signs in big letters, with rules like “NO HORSEPLAY” stencil on them. Regrettably, one does not usually bring that type of equipment, so the signals have to be spoken.
Periodically, I like to shout out safety information from wherever I happen to be working. At other times, I go around and monitor the crew. I look for people who are getting bored with the work. An enemy to a roofer is boredom. It encourages people to mess around with tools, dance around the roof, and otherwise invite compromised health and safety.
Sure, I provide injury free incentives just like any other business, but sometimes it’s not a question of incentivizing safety, it’s just that people aren’t thinking about what they’re doing. That’s when they need those verbal shout outs to keep them in the right frame of mind.
The number of times that I have driven one of these guys to the hospital with an impromptu piercing is flat-out ridiculous. It also drives up my insurance costs in ways that I can scarcely afford. That’s another reason why it’s good business policy to keep putting the safety warnings out there, even at the cost of repeating yourself. I admit out loud that I’m repeating myself – but I continue to stress the reasons for that repetition, because what I do is based on experience. A lot of it.
All workers need another that is very motivated by his work. You can think of it like a buddy system, or like the surveillance at a prison (which is sometimes what it feels like). In conclusion, job safety is a team thing, workers must cooperate with each other can stay fir mentally, they must work smarter, and must be on their “A” game.
Some people are always at the top of their game, and some seem like they’re never going to get it. Identifying workers who need the most help is another part of this equation. A good manager can be that, and find different ways to motivate these people. It’s not an easy journey keeping an entire crew of people from injuring themselves, but with experience and patience, it gets a little easier.
Anyway, safety training is an important part of any business that deals in this kind of work. Whether it goes on in the office or out in the field, build a lot of safety training into your routine to help the most vulnerable employees understand what they need to know about the tools they are using.