I remember the time …

Cultural shifts in the roofing industry are possible

There was a time in my roofing career when worker safety was not a primary focus. If you owned a roofing company in the 1970s or 1980s, you may have looked at those early days of safety emphasis as just another distraction. Of course, you wanted your team to be safe. Yet you left it mostly up to them (and common sense) to ensure they safely arrived home every day after work. Job-site safety was assumed and, in many cases, ignored.

None of my peers had a safety director in those days.

But now every roofing company I know has a designated and trained safety director. Every company conducts weekly safety training not as an afterthought but with intention. Every company has changed the culture of the 1980s to one where safety is part of the planning and execution of every project. As a result, falls are less frequent, fatalities are rare and serious accidents are minimized. A workplace where safety is part of the culture demonstrates a company's commitment to the men and women who work there and their families.

Imagine what we could accomplish if, just like the shift that took place in safety, we shift our attitude toward worker training. Imagine a future where the professionalism of our workforce is high enough that new workers see roofing work as a career-worthy profession. Imagine the productivity, quality and satisfaction that will result.