197241 Comparison of Risk Factors for Falls from Height between Commercial and Residential Roofers

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Jaesin Sa, PhD , Center for Health Disparities, Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, MD
Dong-Chul Seo, PhD , Applied Health Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Sang D. Choi, PhD , Department of Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Whitewater, WI
Introduction: The purpose of this investigation was to compare commercial roofers and residential roofers in terms of their behaviors, beliefs, working conditions, and attitudes toward the use of fall protection device, which could lead to fall accidents.

Methods: A cross-sectional sample of 252 roofers participated in the questionnaire survey in the Midwest from March 2005 to December 2007.

Results: Residential roofers were more likely to fall (adjusted prevalence ratio [PR] = 1.57, 95% CI = 0.86, 2.27) than commercial roofers. Black (adjusted PR = 1.18, 95% CI = 0.06, 2.29), Hispanic (adjusted PR = 1.18, 95% CI = 0.36, 1.99), and American Indian (adjusted PR = 2.19, 95% CI = 0.15, 4.24) roofers were more likely to experience falls from roofs than White roofers. Roofers who worked at small companies employing less than 11 employees were more likely to have falls (adjusted PR = 1.43, 95% CI = 0.58, 2.29) than roofers who worked at companies employing more than 50 employees. Roofers who worked at companies that did not have fall protection programs were more likely to have fall accidents (adjusted PR = 1.52, 95% CI = 0.69, 2.35) than roofers who worked at companies that had protection programs. Enforcement of fall protection device use and actual use of fall protection devices were also significantly associated with fall accidents.

Impact on industry: This study adds insight into fall accidents from roofs in the construction industry and provides industry-specific cautions against fall accidents which can be reflected in regulatory agency implementation.

Learning Objectives:
Compare fall accident risks between residential roofers and commercial roofers. Describe disparities in the fall accident risks among residential roofers with different races/ethnicities and worksite size.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conceived the study, collected and analyzed the data, and drafted a manuscript.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.