dangerous jobs
  • Deaths per 100,000 workers: 38.7
  • Median wage: $35,920

It's bad enough that a fall might kill you, but roofers face a whole host of other on-the-job hazards as well.

Burns from volatile tars and chemicals, electrocution from contact with exposed power lines, and injuries from falling tiles and other roofing debris are just a few of the risks roofers face each day.

The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers has worked to improve worker safety for years, according to John Barnhard, director of research and education.

The group has placed a strong focus on training. And more protection is required, such as body harnesses, edge guards and rope grabs, which have also helped to reduce risk.

As a result, fatalities have generally trended down since 2007, he said. Although there was a slight spike in 2012. That's when home construction started to bounce back and many new, inexperienced roofers came onto the job.

First published September 11, 2014: 1:03 PM ET
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary, 2013 and Injury and National Wage Data.

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