Well, here we are with the first of many Top whatever lists. For your information, I don't want to pigeonhole myself into one number in particular. I don't want to be the number 10's bitch manservant. This week we just happen to have a top 8 list.
But first, a quick disclosure. This list may be updated in the future, but as things stand right now, this is what I feel are the best products available today. These have been unscientifically ranked by the following qualifications: Bang For Your Buck, Ease of Use, Cuteness, and Reliability. So here we go, the Top 8 Residential Roofing Safety Products...
8. Miller Titan Harness - The Mr. Irrelevant spot belongs to the Miller Titan Harness. This is a basic harness manufactured by one of the biggest players in the game, and at around $50, this harness fits easily into any budget. Are you going to get a lot of frills and pretty things to look at? Hell no. This is a basic harness. It's gonna get the job done though. Classics belong on the list, my friend.
7. Guardian Seraph Harness - Right after the classic, we've got an angel. Or is seraph latin for infection? Anyway, this harness adds the comfort missing from the Titan Harness, yet only increases the price marginally. Now I could be wrong in this, but it's my understanding that residential roofers don't enjoy spending money on safety. It's probably why most of them don't even use fall protection. So, even though there are more comfortable harnesses available, this is the highest ranked harness on this list. If you were expecting to see Guardian's Edge or Miller's Revolution, you'll have to come back for another list.
6. Compliance in a Can Light - This little number from DBI/SALA or Protecta uses the assumption that you've already got an anchor for your next roofing job, and we're okay with that. After all, with the economy being a sluggish overweight turtle, a reusable anchor should already be on your to-buy list. So what do you get? A harness and a lanyard in a bucket. Along with a stale piece of gum (Oh wait that was baseball cards in the 80's). So if you've got yourself a roof anchor, this might be a good pickup for you.
5. Guardian Tiger Tail Lanyard - Anyone who has seen National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation knows that getting tangled up on the roof and tripping is disastrous. That's why the Tiger Tail comes into the 5 hole. The tiger tail is a stretch lanyard that won't drag across the roof while you're wearing it. It also has a separate shock pack for added comfort during what could potentially be the most frightening experience of your life. I'm sure you'll feel it and remember afterwards... "You know, that was such a comfortable fall, I'd do it again. Maybe next time I won't poo."
4. French Creek Permanent Roof Anchor - This roof anchor looks a lot like other roof anchors on the market. Why is it on the list? It's a nice affordable solution. This anchor is permanent, so it will stay with the house, but at least you can cover it with shingles and make this guy damn near invisible. It's definitely a great buy, and an added bonus, when you can say, "Hey Homeowner, I'm gonna leave this here for you!" Probably shouldn't shout it though. This roof anchor is nice inexpensive no-frills solution. Besides who want's frills in their fall protection?
3. Guardian Skyhook Anchor - I love this anchor, and it may be affecting my relationship with the misses. I digress. Why is this anchor so great to be in the number 3 spot? Well, it can be used on metal or wood, which is nice. It can also be ordered to accommodate almost any roof pitch, including flat roofs, which is beautiful. The Guardian Skyhook can be used to create a horizontal lifeline system, which can be handy. The downsides? Well it's permanent so that may rub people the wrong way (which by the way is usually on the inner thigh). It also costs about $100. BUT you can buy flashing accessories and cover this bad boy up! So hah!
2. French Creek Reusable Anchor - This anchor looks like a lot of other roof anchors. Why? Because it's a lot like other roof anchors. That being said, this is one of the most versatile anchors around and a must have for any residential roofer. This thing fits any pitched roof like a glove or some sort of giant roof hat. Secondly, this anchor is entirely reusable. And to a money saver like myself, that's music to me ears. Having a flexible and reusable anchor like this should be standard protocol when starting a roofing company.
1. Guardian's Bucket of Safety - Claiming the top spot for the first year in a row, this kit is by far the best kit available today. I like to call it the kit for lazy employers because it includes a roof anchor, vertical lifeline assembly (VLA), and a harness in one plastic bucket. It really doesn't get better than this. You can choose the type of anchor you want and you can double the rope in your VLA for no extra cost. At $130, you can't get a simpler solution. Order in bulk and you'll save even more. I recommend this as the #1 residential roofing product known to man. It's easy, convenient, inexpensive, and doesn't make you think, which is exactly what the best safety equipment does. Stay tuned for a full review next week.
I hope you enjoyed the list. Take a look at some of these products, and make sure your job site and your employees stay protected. Disagree with my rankings? Let me know. Seriously, put your thoughts in the comments and we'll fight about it.