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Pre-apprenticeship Training for Roofers
Detailed Outline of Training - Overview/Orientation Program

This outline sets out the proposed content for roofing pre-apprenticeship training programs.  Topics and coverage reported here are suggested as the basis for two separate training processes, the orientation program and the pre-apprenticeship program.

The orientation program is intended to be a one-day, classroom type training experience.  Material could be offered on the employers premise by staff, in a training facility at a local contractor association, union training center, construction safety association or other location.  Alternatively the orientation could be offered on a CD Rom or Internet site.  In the latter case the program would need to have an assessment process where workers would answer basic questions to confirm that they have read and understood the material.

The pre-apprenticeship program is intended to be a series of on-the-job coaching sessions where a supervisor, journey-person or team leader instructs the new recruit on the basics of safety and roofing systems.  This training would focus on one of six roofing systems:

1. Built-up roofing membrane
2. Hot rubberized roofing system
3. Cold process roofing
4. Modified bitumen membrane – 2 ply and torch-on
5. Single ply – thermoset and thermoplastic
6. Steep roofing – shingles, shakes and tile
This outline proposes the topics and coverage for orientation and on-the-job instruction in the six roofing systems.  Detailed references point the reader to a more complete discussion of each topic in the Canadian Roofing Reference Manual.   The Reference Manual is intended as a supplement to this outline and employers, trainers and others are encouraged to review details there.

Orientation Program

The orientation program is designed for delivery before workers begin work on a construction site.  The session is designed for one day – up to eight hours and it would be delivered in a classroom environment on the employers’ premises, at a local association or union training facility.  The following guidelines are proposed for this session.  Detailed material needed to actually deliver the program is available in the Canadian Roofing Reference Manual and the appropriate references are noted below.

The purpose of the orientation session is to make the new worker aware of the basic safety concerns, essential protective equipment and working conditions and to alert them to the need for further information.  A primary objective of the session is to prepare the worker for their experience as they start on the job.  Orientation will not teach the worker actual working skills.

This means, for example, that the general safety section described below does not need to teach kettle operations at the level of details found in the Roofing Reference Manual (see Ch. 1a).  These guidelines suggest only that the new worker be made aware of the kettles, bitumen and asphalt and their role in roofing and the potential hazards that they represent.


Introduction (Approx. 0.5 hrs)

Objectives of the session
Description of the company and jobs
Careers in roofing and opportunities for apprenticeship training
General Safety (Approx. 3.0 hrs)
Work site protection, house keeping, material and site protection
Fall protection, barricades and guardrails
Equipment safety (electrical)
Handling hazardous materials
Personal protection
Safe lifting
Loading, moving, storing and lifting equipment and supplies
<see Roofing Reference Manual Chapter 1a>

Fire Safety (Approx. 1.0 hrs)

 Propane and kerosene use
 Fire prevention
<see Roofing Reference Manual Chapter 1b,c>

Ladder Safety (Approx. 1.0 hrs)

 Ladder types
 Setting up and taking down
 Erecting scaffolds and staging
 Lifelines and safety belts
<see Roofing Reference Manual Chapter 1e>

Provincial Health and Safety Regulations (Approx. 1.5 hrs)

Purpose of the Regulations
Employer and worker responsibilities
General requirements – fall protection, hazardous materials
<material presented here will be specific to each province and emphasize mandatory obligations under local law>

WHMIS (Approx. 1.0 hrs)

 Hazardous substances and labels
 Material Safety Data Sheets
<see Roofing Reference Manual Chapter 1f>

First Aid (Optional)

Workers should be introduced to training sessions in basic first aid and CPR.