Consider for a moment, if you will, the daunting list of
government-related issues facing the roofing industry: health care
reform, immigration reform, card check legislation, Environmental
Protection Agency lead paint rules, climate change legislation,
proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
ergonomics rules and changes to fall-protection standards, changes
to estate tax rules, and on and on and on. It's enough to drive a
person to drink, or at least to Costa Rica.
As I reviewed the list, it seemed—in a moment of
despair—that there was an unusual amount of attention being
paid to the roofing industry. All these issues affect roofing
professionals, and all affect them dramatically. Many roofing
contractors now will be required to provide health insurance to
their employees more or less at the same time employees will be
required to become certified to handle lead paint. If OSHA has its
way, all roofing contractors may have to keep records of
work-related musculoskeletal injuries. And any roofing contractor
planning on dying should do so as soon as possible while there is
no estate tax. A tax is more than likely to be restored some time
this year retroactive to Jan. 1.
Surely, I thought, there must be at least one issue out there
that would spare the roofing industry. And then Newsweek
arrived, and it was as though Michelle Obama herself was speaking
to me one-on-one: The cover story was about her efforts to curb the
burgeoning problem of obesity in America! We have at last found an
issue on which the roofing industry can come to unanimous
agreement: We are opposed to overweight roofers.
Of course, the issue is made easier by the fact that it is
difficult to be a roofer and be overweight, but this is no time to
get picky. I say: Let them regulate us. Bring on the daily calorie
allotments, the truth-in-labeling programs, the ban on Frosted
Flakes.® Our industry can take it. When you are burning a few
thousand calories per day climbing ladders and doing all the other
things roofers do, you can afford the...
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