I was working for a framing contractor in CA who had a 600 man payroll. He got huge break on his insurance (enough to give away 4 trucks a year at the company picnic) because he was strict about holding safety meetings. We had a guy talk to our crew about this. I read the first-hand account from the guy who fell 5 stories. It was in England. The guy landed on a brick pile and broke some bones in his face but no internal injuries.
What really convinced me was when I fell out of a tree when I was a kid. I fell about ten feet and landed flat on my stomach with my arms and legs out to the side. It didn’t hurt at all. I mean at all. I was about 8 years old at the time and I thought it was really weird that it didn’t hurt. It wasn’t until that safety meeting yeas later that I realized why.
I worked on a construction job where the superindent had been with airborne troops in the Israeli military. He told me that in jump training the instructors told them that if their 'chute didn’t open they should try to land on their head. The idea was that, since they wore helmets, the mess would be a little easier to clean up.
I like Wayne’s way even better. Of course if you’re wearing your cleated golf shoes like you should be, you won’t have that problem.
I’m kidding. Don’t wear golf shoes on the roof. I have Cougar Paws roof boots and they help some.
As far as whether or not you should be on the roof in the first place… I do what I feel comfortable with, and if I don’t feel capable of walking it safely (either for me or the roof-covering material), I don’t feel guilty, I just explain why I didn’t walk it in the report and recommend evaluation by a roofer with special equipment.
We won’t walk every roof. Don’t ever walk a slate roof.