Almost half of roofers saw their pay rise over 2014 but pressures grow

Roofers saw their wage packets increase more than any other trade over 2014 as pressure also rose, according to new research carried out by ECIS.

Following an annual survey of 200 tradespeople across all trades about their health, wellbeing and future prospects, ECIS found that 46% of roofers included in the survey saw their income increase in 2014 compared to the previous year, with the same proportion feeling confident about the year ahead.

However, despite this increase in funding, 17% of roofers surveyed claimed to have considered changing their career in the last year; one in three felt under more pressure last year than in 2013; and half felt under pressure to work longer hours.

ECIS says a quarter of roofers face anywhere between 46-50 work hours each week, with 12% working over 56 hours. In comparison with other trades, roofers work more hours in an average week (46 hours) than other trades, such as electricians (41 hours) and plasterers (42 hours). Evening and weekend work is also a regular feature for one in four roofers.

ECIS has warned the increased levels of stress it has recorded among roofers – combined with the dangers of working at height – suggest that long hours should be considered a concern for the sector.

However, further findings from the study found that despite rising levels of pressure and working hours, just 13% of the roofers asked confessed to feeling stressed and only 4% had longer than two weeks off work in the past year due to accident or ill-health. Furthermore, 13% had suffered a neck, back, hip, shoulder, arm or leg strain, compared with 26% of electricians who have had these types of injuries.

Phil Scarrett, sales and marketing director for ECIS, said: “With 88% saying they would encourage a young person to join their industry, there is a generally positive feeling coming from the [roofing] sector, supported by the fact that their health and well-being seems to be in relatively good shape. This needs constant focus and attention, particularly given the long hours roofers work.

“Health insurance can help roofers keep their fitness and well-being on track and able to cope with the demands of a predicted upturn in the construction sector. Roofers should look for specialist cover designed for their needs with regular health checks included as standard.”

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