A broader approach

By widening the scope of risk management, contractors can run more professional, efficient and profitable companies

Running a business, any business, has its risks. Arguably, few businesses are riskier than roofing. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recognized this fact when it declared roofing as one of its five "target industries" in 1970, the year the agency was formed.

The sobering reality is the risk profile of any roofing company is not limited to safety and health issues. It's extensive and overwhelming even to the most diligent company. The question is: Can a roofing business with all its inherent risks be approached in such a way that the vagaries of laws, regulations, human resources and installing effective roof systems are challenging, rewarding and fulfilling?

A bit of history

In 1988, NRCA created a new staff position, risk manager, to assist members with safety and insurance questions. By that time, the association's partnership with CNA Insurance Cos., Chicago, had grown to the point where having a full-time NRCA staff person assist members with understanding and, NRCA hoped, reducing claims was appropriate. Over time, the nature of assistance NRCA provided its members expanded to include regulatory and some legal assistance, but the focus remained on safety and insurance matters.