Any of you boys ever fall off a roof?

I’m a DIY’er with one project under my belt and damn near fell! I am sure experience helps but seems like you guys would have some stories

in 1973 i fell off a 3 story factory.pullin a felt machine and my tail guy didnt yell about the edge,luckily i fell into a 15 ft high pile of gravel.my dad(he was the foreman) asked if i was ok. i replied yes.he screamed “then get back on this phuckin roof and get to work” i was really sore for about a month.sprained wrist briused ribs and ego.
i have had employees fall as little as 8 ft and turn themselfs into useless blobs.falling is not what we want on the roof.and when they tell you its the sudden stop they have never fallen.

I took a eight foot fall to concrete a few months ago. Broke the ‘hook’ off one arm bone, compressed the other. I thought it was a sprain so I taped it up and went back at one handed. The only days I missed was when they put on the cast and took it off. Maybe 5-6ish falls I’ve had. Never higher than one story, never anyones faulty but my own.

Boss, it’s the “sudden stop” that kills you… the falling that soils yer boxers.

I was going to a 2nd floor INSIDE a concrete floored house (bottom & 2nd level out of conc. w/ red iron framing). No stairs yet & they had a ladder tied up @ about 4:12 going to the 2nd floor… it fell out on me as I was 90% of the way up.

It was all so sudden (it’s never slow, is it?) & I somehow managed to roll a bit but I still got somewhat twangled up in between the rungs (fiberglass ladder).

I had a bit of bruising, but by & large managed to avoid serious injury.

Thankfully, I’ve never had any real issues with a rooftop. One of the first things I told myself when I got into this business was “if anything goes / starts to slide, LET IT GO!” Obviously if I’m on the rige line of a 5:12 with a 20’ slope & my hammer starts to slide, I’ll take a reach for it… but if I’m within 8 or 9 feet from the edge (it’s usually a rapid mental calculation) then I’ll just holler for someone to look out for a falling object & wait for the thump.

I’m usually scared on a 2 story & I try to turn that into a healthy sense of scared that makes me extra cautious.

BTW, 3 years ago, my wife’s niece (21 now) jumped off her roof after she (ready for this???) went up there because she “saw a squirrel on the roof & thought it was in danger.” WTF? Used an “A” frame ladder to get up, couldn’t get her foot on it to get back down & ended up jumping off - badly - broke her arm.

Yes, she’s blonde.

I fell off the first roof I ever worked on, my second day on the job…
I was crawling up a frost covered Ice & water shielded valley (Grace) and I just slid right off.
I bounced off some pipe scaffolding and landed on a pile of scrap concrete.
It was about a 10’ drop from an 8/12.
The concrete took a 50 cent piece size chunk of flesh out of my hip, and I cracked a couple of ribs.
I went right back to work after a brief rest and didn’t miss any work because of it.

Another time some shingles didn’t get roof loaded correctly and they fell, as I was putting on drip edge.
This was an 8/12 and I almost never work the eave from the roof over a 6/12.
I heard a crash and felt a rumble, I looked behind me to see what was up.
Well what was up was 5 sq of shingles sliding down the roof right at me.
I had to think fast so I jumped.
It was a new build and there was sand to land in so I wasn’t too concerned about that.
I was much more concerned about being crushed by the shingles.
As my last foot was leaving the roof I saw a sawhorse directly in my landing zone.

Well I didn’t want to land on the sawhorse so I twisted my body to avoid it, which worked.
But now I was in an uncontrolled jump.
When I landed, I landed on my left foot, my foot sank about 2’ into the sand.
I broke my foot, pretty badly.
I broke off the Talus, I still have 2 rather large screws in my foot, and part of it is fused.
It was about 12’down and I landed about 15’ away from the house.

I was back to work in 2 weeks, I had a guy that did nothing but get all my stuff for me while I shingled on my knees.
I called him my left foot. :slight_smile:
Funny thing was, I still shingled as fast as the other guys, racking 3-tabs on a 5/12.
Another thing, the house I was injured on was finished without my supervision (we hadn’t started shingling yet) and a heat stack leaked… :frowning:
My foot never bothers me, It does let me know about storms coming in though.

There are others.

if you roof long enough youll fall.
trick is to fall of the rite roof.


[quote=“gweedo”]if you roof long enough youll fall.
trick is to fall of the rite roof.



I have roofed since the early 1980s and have never fell.I started out as a slater and had several close calls though, never forget where you are, roofs are unforgiving. your also fired before you hit the ground.

Fell 15’ flat on my back the first week roofing. Learned my lesson! Since then I’ve taken many a ride on a piece of felt paper (man I miss that adrenaline rush…) I even slipped off one morning after walking in a dew covered metal valley on a 3 pitch but caught a toe board (2x4) left by the framers on the edge of the roof and hung there by one arm till my buddies pulled me up. So, many close calls but I’ve only hit the ground once.

Falling sucks! I’ve done it twice, and don’t recommend it to anyone. The first time I was on the roof of a three-story wing of a V.A. hospital. Some guys clowning around after lunch came at me like some wrestlers, and I stepped back into an large skylight hole that we had uncovered earlier in the day in preparation to install the large skylight. I fell about 10 feet onto my back, and had an abrupt and unexpected sudden stop about 20-some feet too soon. Turns out the drywall guy had his scaffold set up to install drywall around the framed-up skylight opening. I bruised my leg from the cross bracing, but was lucky to hit the scaffold at all; the drywall guy was still at lunch, thankfully.

The other time I fell was while cleaning gutters for a friend of my roommate’s, and I slipped on the mossy cedar shakes, but was able to jump out and roll when I hit. I actually got up laughing, because I was surprised I actually fell.

FWIW, because I always try not to fall, I hate free-fall type of rides at the amusement parks, and have no desire to B.A.S.E. jump or sky-dive.

Cerebrus, if I was physically able to get up from that skylight fall-through, I’d have come after those clowns with a nailed up 2x4!

A little over 1 year ago I had a U shaped house (duplex); each 1/2 was an L shape sharing a common car port & the total size was around 45 squares.

The dump trailer was backed up into the carport, more to one side, & really full like around 1’ higher than the walls of the trailer. One of the guys on the crew decides to surf down the valley on a piece of felt, a total of around 20 feet or so. He rode it down fine & landed perfectly into the trailer like it was a well planned movie stunt, but I fired him on the spot.

I don’t have to tell you guys how many thousand different problems could have come up as a result of that nonsense.

there is some luck involved in roofing.

and good to read ya tar monkey.
hope all is well.
monkey make gweedo laugh.


When I was 16 a ladder slipped out from under me, sprained my wrist.
Four years ago fell off a 10/12 garage but only fell three feet onto scaffolding, jumped back on the roof and got back to work.
Three years ago a ladder slipped out from under me, sore for days. The home owner came out and asked, “Are you the roofer? Did you just fall off my roof?” Yes, and yes mam. “Oh, well how’s my deck?” Yes she was blonde and really hot!!! I was more embarrassed than anything else.

My fathers had a few falls sprained an ankle. One fall I witnessed felting in a 7/12 in the rain. Before I knew it he was back on the roof. He saved me from falling 1.5 stories once.

My brother fell 23ft into a window well, got bruised up and worked the next day.

My uncle fell from the ladder and shattered his knee cap and broke his leg. For a while there he fell off once a year but last time we spoke he’s stuck to the roof for the longest run in his 20 years roofing, 8 years now.

Watched my other brother fall on top of a lull, he sprained his ankle.

Had a cousin fall and break his leg.

My dad had a sub fall and break his arm.

My uncle had a sub fall and shatter both ankles, never roofed again. Poor guy had just divorced his wife who father was a millionaire. His luck went from bad to really bad. He got a new truck out of her at least.

Knocking on wood, haven’t had a fall in the family for a few years.

ive fell off the garage once. Not too high.
My own fault. almost broke my ass.lol
But yeah i just took a safty couse on falling. Cost me 300 per person.
Personally wasnt worth the money but supposedly everyone that is above 10 feet needs a full harness.

A few falls. Enough to know to relax before hitting if I’m landing wrong. Doesn’t hurt as much then,

Several broken bones over the years, including falling against the deck while in the harness amd breaking an arm.