Posted February 15, 2020 06:38:37The roofing industry has been facing a growing number of new roof-related complaints from the recent introduction of new technology that enables large-scale asphalt millings, the use of which has been linked to a rise in premature deaths.
While there have been few fatalities linked to the use by roofers of the new technologies, the number of premature deaths linked to such installations has been growing over the last few years.
In 2017, a major increase in deaths linked with the installation of new roofs was recorded, with over 50,000 deaths and over 17,000 serious injuries being attributed to the installation process.
At the same time, the overall number of deaths due to roofing in the country increased from 3,500 in 2017 to 11,500 last year.
“I think the overall situation is not good,” Dr Nandini Patil, Senior Advisor at the National Green Tribunal, told News24.
“It is also not good for the environment and the poor,” he added.
In 2018, a large number of complaints from roofers were lodged with the National Pollution Control Board (NPCB) about the installation and operation of the roof-asphalt machines (AASM).
The complaints included a high incidence of roof-based roof-overlay, which has caused a rise of premature death and other serious health problems.
According to the National Sample Survey, which covers all the countries in the world, over 70 per cent of roofers across the country had reported to the NPCB the use and installation of AASM machines, as opposed to just a small number of roofing manufacturers.
The NPCB has been investigating the issue for the last several years and recently received more than 100,000 reports about the use or installation of these machines, the report said.
“The investigation has revealed a large increase in the number and number of instances of roof overlay related deaths over the past five years,” it said.
The report also noted that the majority of the complaints had been related to the AASMs in particular.
“The majority of roof owners and owners of small and medium-sized businesses are aware of the adverse health effects of AISM use,” it added.
Patil said it was crucial for the NPCI to continue its work to ensure that roof-building industry workers and roofers are fully informed about the health risks that could arise.
“We need to ensure they are aware about the risks that can result from AASMS, and to take steps to reduce them,” she said.