Health and Safety
Roofers & Waterproofers face many hazards, such as falls, burns, electrocutions, chemical exposures, RF exposures and hoisting accidents. Safety and health programs benefit everyone in the roofing industry–workers stay alive and well, employers’ costs are kept down for insurance, lost time on the job is reduced, and customers are pleased that the job is completed professionally and on time.
Through the years, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, state safety agencies and employers have set safety rules. An established and well-running safety and health program is a crucial complement to those rules. Such a program helps enforce the rules and standards and ensures cooperation from workers and management as well as provides a labor-management forum for working out new rules and procedures as needed.
The Roofers & Waterproofers Research and Education Trust Fund has developed and/or made available Safety and Health training materials and resources for the following topics:
- Crane and Derrick Safety
- Electrical Safety
- Fall Protection
- Fire Protection and Prevention
- Hearing Protection
- Heat Illness Prevention
- Labels & Safety Data Sheets
- Ladders & Stairways
- Material Handling, Storage, Use, & Disposal
- Powered Equipment
- Power Line safety
- Safety Culture
- Safety Climate
- Struck By
- Tools: Hand & Power
- Unventilated & Confined Spaces
- Weather Hazards
- Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation Awareness
- Foundations for Safety Leadership
- Hazard Communication
- Competent Person Fall Protection
- Qualified Rigging
- Qualified Signaling
- Over 30 Hazard Alert Cards
- Over 40 Toolbox Talks
International Representatives, local union business managers/representatives, apprenticeship directors, apprenticeship coordinators, and apprenticeship instructors can access and download these training materials and resources on the Roofers & Waterproofers Training Resource Center at www.RoofersTRC.com or by contacting Executive Director Keith J. Vitkovich at (202) 463-7663.
Political Action: United We Are Strong!
When we unite through political action programs, get-out-the-vote and voter registration drives, we can help shape local, state and federal elections in a way that politicians will get our message—we need jobs and we need laws that support working families.
The attack on labor has never been more vicious than in today’s divided political climate. Right-wing organizations are committing massive amounts of money and manpower towards passing laws that suppress labor unions and the middle-class, while favoring Wall Street and the 1%.
The Roofers Political Education and Legislative Fund
The Roofers Political Education and Legislative Fund (RPELF) provides funds to local unions for use in supporting candidates in local and state elections who are sympathetic to labor’s views.
These donations help get leaders elected who will fight for fair wages, good jobs and policies that work for the 99%.
Local union officers who would like to request funds through RPELF should contact the International Office at (202) 463-7663 for more information.
What Can I Do?
You can stay informed on current issues that affect American workers. You can contact your state and local representatives. Most importantly, you can vote!
Giving back to the community is important to many members of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers. Our members, whether in good times or bad, recognize the need to help other individuals and organizations that face economic or physical difficulties.
Union Roofers and Waterproofers are highly skilled in their trade—even beginning apprentices have specialized knowledge that can be put to use for the greater good. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find our members sacrificing a weekend to replace the roof on an elderly couple’s home, partake in a community-wide service event, or just help out a union brother or sister who is in need. A glimpse of the Community Service section in The Journeyman Roofer & Waterproofer is proof that Roofers across the nation regularly volunteer their time and skills giving back to others.
Many members learn this early on in an apprenticeship. Apprenticeship programs regularly incorporate volunteer work into their curriculum, assisting construction-based organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or Rebuilding Together. Performing projects for these well-known volunteer programs not only benefit communities across the nation but gives apprentices extra hands-on experience that strengthens their learning.
All local unions and members can help by reporting volunteer hours (charity work, fundraising, mentoring, volunteer coaching–any donation of your time for the good of others) to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can showcase this work to the greater community.
Women in Roofing
The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers is committed to increasing the number of women in our trade. Recruitment and retention of women in the roofing and waterproofing trade are vital to our union. Construction contractor affirmative action requirements increasingly require a larger share of women in our craft. More importantly, it is time to advance women’s opportunities in the trades.
Just 3% of the construction industry’s skilled workforce is female. Our society’s conception of gender roles is changing, but slowly with regard to construction occupations.
The good news is that women are becoming apprentices and journeyman roofers and waterproofers at a higher rate today than ever before. They are excelling in the craft in every way and are finding fulfilling careers in the Roofers Union.
If you are a woman interested in joining our union, contact the local union in your area or submit an online form here.
For more information on what it means to be a woman in a nontraditional trade, visit Chicago Women in Trades or Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.
Trades Women Build Nations conference
A small group of union tradeswomen in California started meeting annually in 2002, and from those meetings has evolved the largest tradeswomen conference in the country – Trades Women Build Nations.
The conference is now held in different locations throughout the U.S. and draws crowds of over 2,500 union tradeswomen and allies annually.
The conference lasts three days and features workshops, speakers, trade caucuses, social gatherings, and even political rallies.
Roofers International President Kinsey Robinson personally encourages all women in the Roofers Union to attend this conference. The International Office will sponsor the registration fees for up to two (2) women member attendees per local union.
For more information, visit nabtu.org/twbn.
Making a successful transition from the military into the civilian workforce can be difficult. Transitioning military veterans face the same challenges as any other job hunter, with the added stress of trying to translate the skills they learned in the military into language that civilian employers can understand. The process can feel overwhelming, especially if it seems like meaningful help is unavailable.
Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) was formed for this reason and is dedicated to helping National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members connect to quality career and training opportunities in one of America’s most challenging and rewarding industries—the construction industry.
The benefits of H2H are two-fold: dedicated veterans receive training and a secure job in the construction industry, while our contractors have access to a pool of highly disciplined and motivated individuals.
Who Should Sign Up?
- Transitioning military members should visit the Helmets to Hardhats website at www.HelmetsToHardhats.com and click the Get Started button to create and activate your profile. You can then browse hundreds of career and training opportunities and forward your profile to career providers electronically from the H2H site.
- Local unions and apprenticeship programs should also go to www.HelmetsToHardhats.com and click on the Trades/JATCs/Employers tab. Click the Request Account button and complete the required information to register your program. Once your account is verified, you’ll be able to post jobs, manage applicants, view reports and more.
The United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers is a staunch supporter of the Helmets to Hardhats program, and we strongly recommend that all local unions and JATCs register with the program and recruit apprenticeship candidates from the H2H pool. For more information, please contact Mitch Terhaar at the International Office at (202) 463-7663 or email@example.com, or Robert Schwar at Helmets to Hardhats at (202) 664-3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.