Why Safety Matters
An excellent safety record helps ensure that the likelihood of an injury on the roof is greatly reduced. That means the contractor typically does not pay expensive insurance claims or partake in unwanted litigation. Ultimately, this saves money for customers.
Customers should want to work with a safety-conscious roofing contractor. A couple of things to look for is a contractor that has written safety programs and ongoing training of crews. The contractor should also have both scheduled and random safety inspections and provide state-of-the-art safety equipment for their crews.
Another thing to look at is the contractor’s Worker’s Compensation Experience Modification Rates (EMR). EMR is a factor that measures the difference between the insured’s (contractor) actual past injury experience and the expected or actual experience of the Roofing Class. It is a number used by insurance companies to gauge both past cost of injuries and future chance of risk, resulting in either a reduction (credit) or an increase (debit) in the contractor's insurance premiums. A low EMR is a direct reflection of an effective company safety program that prevents injuries and eliminates hazards. Proper management of injuries and return-to-work programs help mitigate injury severity and keep costs down for both the contractor and the customer.
A Safety-Conscious Roofing Contractor:
- Commits to excellence and completes the job on time because they work within a well-defined system that has minimized the opportunities for disruptions
- Identifies and attempts to eliminate the risks on projects
- Meets with the customer pre-job, throughout the job and post-job to discuss safety for the crews and/or the people who work inside the building
To evaluate your roofing contractor, investigate the following:
- Ask for a written copy of their safety program and information on their drug testing policy
- Research their OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) Incidence Rate. An Incidence Rate measures a company’s performance as determined by the number of injuries that occur for every 100 employees who work 50 weeks per year, 40 hours per week. The roofing industry national average Incidence Rate is 5.6 in 2017, while CentiMark's Incidence Rate was 1.68. Look for contractors that are consistently below the national average.
- Investigate OSHA Lost Workday and Lost Workday Severity Rates
- Learn the Worker’s Compensation Experience Modification Rates (EMR) as discussed in detail above. 1.0 is satisfactory, above a 1.0 indicates poor performance and below 1.0 represents good performance (the lower the number, the better). CentiMark's Interstate (NCCI) EMR for 2017 was 0.480.
- Ask who is responsible for the safety program, what their credentials are, the size of the department and if they have dedicated safety professionals in the field
The priorities of every roofing contractor should be to provide quality workmanship, ensure the customer’s property and employees are as safe as possible, and that all crewmembers go home safely every evening.