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Roofers Warned Don't Kill

By: Julia Montejo
State Capital Bureau

February 07, 1995

JEFFERSON CITY _ Some legislators want to use the law to warn roofers: Don't hurt or kill anyone.

Although it should be obvious, Rep. Bill Boucher, D-Kansas City, says legislation relating to roofing repair is necessary because "there isn't enough supervision."

Boucher has sponsored a bill that would require "When making roofing repairs, roofing contractors shall load such new materials or removed materials so that such loading will not create a danger of collapse of the roof, or result in injury or death to any person."

Roofing contractors expressed surprise at the bill _ saying it was unneeded and didn't make sense.

"This legislation just isn't common sense," said Angie Potts, co-owner of Seidal Enterprise in Jefferson City.

"I think the government is just trying to get more power. It is just another person trying to jump in line."

Other roof repairers voiced similar opinions. "Any job that causes an injury could put you out of business", said Chuck McKenna, Kirberg Roofing Company in Jefferson City,

"It is sort of like telling a driver to make sure he has enough air pressure in his tires. He would do that anyway. He would be guilty of negligence. It is a moot point."

Boucher said decided to introduce the bill after nine people were injured when the roof collapsed at a health-care center in Kansas City.

But one roofing contractor said the problem is not the absence of law _ but rather those who disregard the law.

"The problem is that many companies accept bids from roof contractors that do not meet all the regulations and then they look other way," McKernna says," What is going to happen is that they are going to pass this legislation, but no one is going to know about it so it will not be enforced."

"We work hard to keep our areas safe so that our insurance rates go down", McKernna says, "We also put up a fence or warning tape to let people know we are working. If you have ever dented or broken a building it would clearly put you out of business. I don't know why someone would write this law. Taking these safety precautions is a matter of practice".

Boucher said he expects that customers, bankers and people who sell insurance will support his bill and inform roofing contractors.

In addition to prohibiting roofing contractors from killing people, Boucher's bill also would require a roofer to give the tenants of a building seven day's advance notice prior to staring roof repair work.

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