Earlier this year, a group of NRCA leaders met with a team of senior executives from our insurance partner, CNA, to review NRCA's Group Safety Program, now in its 45th year of operation, which is available to roofing contractors.
It's always an interesting meeting, especially because CNA has significantly improved its risk control and claims management operations. The company is collecting much better data and has taken a zero-tolerance policy toward fraudulent claims, among other things.
However, the roofing industry still has too many accidents and injuries. At the top of the list—still—is falls. What we have learned is there have been fewer falls from roof edges but more through openings (or bad decks) and from ladders. Smart contractors—at CNA's urging—are taking an aggressive, proactive approach to fall protection with great success.
At the meeting we also learned opioids, mostly in the form of prescription painkillers, are becoming a huge problem in workers' compensation claims. Drugs such as OxyContin® are relatively easy to get and can dramatically affect a worker's ability to avoid injury.