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Being a Roofer and Supervising Roofers Are Dangerous Occupations

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March 1, 2020

In 2018, there were 5,250 fatal job-related injuries in the U.S.—an average of 100 per week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Most jobs are very safe, but some hold an incidence of dying that is ten times that of the average occupation. Roofing is one of those.

In an analysis by the Wall Street Journal of the 25 most dangerous jobs, the 18th was general maintenance and repair workers, with a fatality rate of 12.5 per 100,000 workers. These include those who troubleshoot and diagnose problems. The largest share of the 64 fatal and 21,130 nonfatal injuries among repair and maintenance workers in 2018 occurred due to contact with equipment and dangerous objects. The 15th most dangerous category of workers was first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers, with 15.1 per 100,000 workers (a total of 46) dying in 2018 and 3,100 nonfatal injuries. This would include building envelope consultants or observers on a building. The third most dangerous job is that of roofer, with a fatal injury rate of 15.1 per 100,000 workers, 96 fatal injuries, and 2,060 nonfatal injuries in 2018. Seventy-four of the fatal accidents roofers suffered on the job were from falls, slips, and trips.