Next to the slow economy, the cost and availability of workers compensation and general liability insurance continue to be the roofing contractor’s biggest problems, according to a recent survey of steep and low slope roofing installers. Accidents cost money and increase contractors’ insurance modification factors, making it more difficult and expensive to find coverage. This is one reason why most roofing manufacturers emphasize safety in their application literature and in their production facilities.
For nearly 20 years, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has recognized workplace safety through its prestigious Accident Prevention Contest. Almost 40 roof manufacturing facilities improved their “safety index” from last year. Among the top 11 winners this year, seven facilities are run by GAF Materials Corporation, including the top two winners, according to ARMA’s recently released results for 2007. GAF’s Fontana, CA, facility also managed to repeat its performance from 2006 and held onto its number one ranking again this year.
Dick Nowak, Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer at GAF says the company takes safety seriously, “Every single manufacturing facility in the GAF organization puts safety as its number one priority, and the ARMA results acknowledge their efforts.” Regarding the entire organization, Nowak added, “GAF has made a commitment to follow sound safety procedures throughout the entire workforce, and we hope to continue to be at the top of ARMA’s list each and every year.”
ARMA measures its results based on labor hours worked per year, with GAF winning the President’s Awards in Group A and Group B. (The Group A category represents more than 300,000 labor hours worked, with Group B facilities reporting 200,000-300,000 labor hours in 2007.) GAF’s Fontana and Savannah, GA plants—and two facilities run by other manufacturers—achieved a perfect ARMA index score for 2007, which is based on no lost and restricted workdays and no reportable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) incidents.
“GAF’s commitment to safety extends far beyond educating its plant personnel and also includes the entire GAF organization nationwide. In fact, company managers are required to begin each company meeting with a safety message which could, for example, address a safety concern or reiterate a safety practice,” stated Jan Jerger-Stevens, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at GAF. “This shows employees, contractors and visitors that the company truly is serious about safety in the workplace.”