One of the most important steps when choosing a roofing contractor is to assess their safety performance. Every professional roofing organization should have a program in place for training workers and maintaining conformance to OSHA safety guidelines. In addition, they must carry both liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you, their business, and their workers in the event of an incident.
Following a few simple guidelines will help ensure that the roofing contractor you are considering for hire is operating a legitimate and reputable business. Don’t hesitate to ask for proof of insurance. Any professional organization should be able to produce their certificate to demonstrate they have the appropriate level of liability to cover any personal or property injury while the roofing work is being done. Request a copy of their OSHA Form 300A. Regulations require that roofers keep a log of work-related injuries, and this is an important tool when evaluating their overall safety record. A low rate of work-related incidents will demonstrate that they are observing good safety practices. Another element to consider is the contractors “Experience Modification Rate,” or EMR. EMR is a comparison of one company’s worker compensation claims to those of similar companies in the industry. Businesses with an EMR rating below 1.0 have a lower than average claim rate, indicating that they are observing a higher level of workplace safety. Finally, ask them some specific questions – what formal safety training do they offer their employees? What specific precautions are taken, and what safety equipment should you expect to see at the worksite?
Here at Knickerbocker Roofing, we operate in full accordance with OSHA regulations and recommendations. In addition to a documented safety program, we hold regular meetings to discuss safety issues, topics, and incidents. Our labor-management safety committee routinely discusses safety challenges and explores new ways to enhance our safety programs, and we have a systematic discipline protocol in the event that a worker violates safety rules.
Do your safety homework. It is the responsibility of every commercial roofing contractor to protect their workers from injury and their clients from damage and liability.