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Harold J. Geoffrey (Stormadjuster)
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2000 - 8:29 pm:   

After the recent death of one our brothers I decided to look into some safety equipment. I have located a source that sells the gear and explains how to use it. I found that it is really not that expensive about 300-500 dollars. You might want to look into
R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Saturday, March 18, 2000 - 12:43 am:   

Cougar Paws are available from:

14517 Telegraph Road
Woodbridge , VA 22192


AT last purchase the price was $60.00 pr + $5.00 pair for soles (removeable) Buy at least 5 pairs of each, 1 set for composition roofs , will last 30+ roofs.
another set for wood, slate,& metal will last 20+ roofs.

Unbelievable adhesion, also work well on wet surfaces if anyone is nuts enought to try it.
Roy Cupps (Admin)
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 11:54 pm:   

Try this forum post, it list a phone number for Cougar Paws.
Duke Johnson
Posted on Friday, March 17, 2000 - 11:42 pm:   

Can someone tell me where I can buy Cougar Paws or another good roofing shoe?
Thank You
R.D. Hood
Posted on Tuesday, March 07, 2000 - 12:14 am:   

Here are some of the steps that are taken by many and you are encouraged to heed the advice.

We older people are still here because we have been very lucky and we

The singular basic is this:
"Remember at all times where you are, in a dangerous, unfriendly envoirnment" and never be intimidated or embaressed into climbing a roof.

1) The ladder must be, as previously stated,the proper distance from the wall, that is 1/4 of the extended length.

2) ALWAYS tie off the ladder at the top. Keep a bungee cord affixed to the top rung or arrange a lightweight chain with snap hooks attached and use these to safe off the top of the ladder. If this is not possible due to no point of attachment, wait for an assistant. Even on a 12' or 16' folder.

3) Extend the ladder 3' above the roof.(This is an OSHA requirment) The top of the ladder should be the same height as your belt buckle. You need something to hang onto coming down.

4) Make sure the base of the ladder is secured. If necesssary tie the base off to the wall, so it does not slip out when weight is placed on the top.

5) NEVER CLIMB A WET ROOF, OF ANY SLOPE, this means any presence of moisture, dew , frost etc.

6) NEVER climb a roof that you are not absolutely sure that you are competent enough to do so, and are completely comfortable with.

7) Wear the proper shoes, sneakers or gum sole shoes work on a lot of them, there are also special roof shoes such as "Cougar Paws" that are available. Change shoes often, they wear out in a few weeks. Make sure that the laces are double tied at all times. Wear nothing that can possibly hang up on any outcropping, i.e. loose clothes.

8) If a rope and harness is required, rig it and learn how to use it correctly.

9) NEVER, walk backwards on any roof.

10) When doing a double pull, always make sure that the roof you are resting on is flat and the ladder is secured, such as having the legs of the ladder straddleing the ridge of the lower roof.

11) When climbing ANY roof, be totally aware of your position on the roof, look for any thing that could stop you if you should slip or slide, such as a vent stack, a chimney, a valley.

12) Be aware of any difference in elevation in the field of the roof, a depression may be indicative of rotted decking, that you can fall through, or make you trip and fall off.

13) Have an arrangement with a fellow adjuster to be available to you and you to them, if assistance is needed. SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT.

13) Use all the common sense you ever had, listen to these words. "You only fall once"

Any other suggestions, ideas, or input from all is solicited and welcomed.

Let us never forget those that passed this way.
Dick Benson
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 6:01 pm:   

Jim, I would apologize for my not completely reading and understanding your post. In the heat of the battle I guess I misread your post. Again my apology.
Russ Lott
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 4:43 pm:   

I am not new at this business but would like to know how the rest of the community secures their ladders for ascent to the roof? Sitting on a hot Texas roof for hours waiting for someone to come along to set your ladder back up for you can really ruin your day. I have seen lots of octopus looking attachments in the parking lots and adjusters that could lift a Buick to go along with them. I myself use a bungy cord and have had pretty good luck. Now that spring is upon us and the winds off the mountains are starting to blow now is the time to think.

Thanks Russ Lott
old timer
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 9:32 am:   

Dick I think that Jim was saying that speed comes in second place behind safety. Read it again. You both are saying the same thing.
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2000 - 9:28 am:   

Jim, I can't beleive what I just read. Here we are as a group morning the loss of one of US and you are saying that speed is more important than safty. Maybe your family can help you see thelight. SAFTY is the issue.
Posted on Sunday, March 05, 2000 - 12:59 pm:   


You're right, rope & harness is the proper method for accessing steep roofs. When working State Farm on large CATS, the vendor commonly has a rope & harness crew for those roofs either too tall and/or steep. These are two man crews that usually do about 5 roofs/day. If a roof does not look good to you, then PLEASE!, walk away from it. You can kill yourself just easily from a 4/12 pitch, one story as you can from some Victorian style 12/12, three story.

I too have reflected on this what with Glens passing. I offer a thread that we can build on in terms of redefining what we are and our place in the grand scope of our Industry.

The term`'Independent' is not really accurate in defining ourselves anymore except for those souls still owning and running their own shops. Most of us now are in reality, Employees of Temporary Employment Services. When out on storm we are now under a work comp umbrella for on the job injuries. (I do hope that Glen was such.) We are now in a transition period of change from being self-employed to that of employees. Witness that now we use a Form 2106 instead of a Schedule C on our Federal Income taxes. But there still remains that resistance to change with the vendors. Not, I believe from anything willfull perse, but from more a standpoint of, " Well GEE, It didn't used to be this way!", type of mentality.

Please refer to your new Pilot contract. Could it be that the non-compete clause is a poor attempt to form a dedicated core of employees? An employee, as we all know, is reciepent of those side goodies known as, group health plans with employer contributions, dental plans, life insurance packages, free coffee & donuts, designated parking places, travel expenses, child day care, etc...! The problem is that we kiddies out here spread our eggs in more than a few other Easter baskets. An egg in the Crawford basket, an egg in the Worley basket, an egg in the Pilot basket and on and on. The vendors know this fact of life. I believe that is a reason why the reticence on their part to go deeper into this area of making us a true employee in spite of the IRS.

It may well be time for we rebellious souls to pony up and head back to that barn known as loyal company employees. I don't care for that any more than you do, but what else can we do?

Here is another angle. In the new car dealerships, a commission salesman is hired and paid a base salary. Once his commissions exceed the base amount, he is paid the overage. And guess what? He, being an employee, also has a benefits package! What a deal!! Does this sound familiar? We are on commision and a lot of us annually exceed six figures in earnings. Here is the precedent and the cost to us is to be hired and loyal to that easter basket that most suits our delicate and sensitive, little egos. Is this what the Pilots had in mind? If so, it was poorly done.

Well, I've run out of steam for now and my train of thought is derailing off the cliff. Please offer your thoughts on this topic. The thought of Glens wife pulling the plug and not having a health policy (just like I do) is more than a little sobering for us all. Is it time for us to enter a "loyal marriage" with one vendor just like we did with our wives and become good little employees with real benefit packages?
Posted on Sunday, March 05, 2000 - 12:57 pm:   

I for one, would be happy to purchase a rope and harness, but I also do not know what to buy or where to get it. Speed has to be second to Safety.
storm pro
Posted on Sunday, March 05, 2000 - 10:58 am:   

I have given this whole situation some thought and the only thing I can think of that would have made a difference and/or will make a difference is rope & harness. From what I know the equipment is readily available at outdoor shops almost everywhere and is not that expensive. The trick is getting adjusters to take the time and effort to use the equipment.
Can we hear from some people who are familar with this gear. Do you have to work in pairs or can you use rope & harness by yourself by tying off on a tree or deck post? Can we get some basic instruction somewhere?
What equipment do we need to buy or not buy?
The terrible accidents that have happened this year have raised everyones conciousness on this topic, so now lets raise up our commitment to work safe for our sake and the sake of our families.
Pat Marx
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 9:28 pm:   

Has anyone checked into incorporation,my wife andi have formed a corporation and joined a chamber of commerce to get the Blue Cross group rate,it cost us in Mich.$60 to incorporate doing
the paper work ourselves,which we obtained from the internet with a explanation on how to complete it.Blue cross with a
$10 copay on prescriptions it cost us appox.$315 a month.without the chamber rate it was appox.$600
per month
David String
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 6:35 pm:   

Glen worked for me for 2 1/2 months during Hurricane Floyd. You will not find a better human being. His work ethic, dispostion, ability and morals will be sadly lost to this industry. When I first met Glen, I took Glen and some fellow CAT adjusters to dinner. His personality, wit and humor, with that Dallas draw will never be forgotten. My prayers go out to Nancy and his child through this most difficult time. Carolina Claims Service, Inc. will gladly send a contribution to the Garoutte's %Vince Tabor as Trustee of the fund. Vince, if there is anything I or Chuck Burkett can do to assist you during this difficult time, please call upon us.
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 5:28 pm:   

Ghostbuster brought up the fact that the IRS has determined for their classification and defination purposes we are temp. employees. What is their defination of temp employees and how does that fit in with OSHA. Recently there was newspaper articles regarding OSHA looking into whether employers would have to meet standards when an employee is working out of their home. This was explained by OSHA that the standards would not in most cases be applied to employees working from home. But what about the situation where an employer demands that every roof be inspected no matter what the circumstances. It happens because I sat in a room full of adjusters during a conference by a vendor who stated that they did not care what the customer said all roofs would be inspected from the surface no matter what. Some will take the risk some will not, but as a temp employee according to the goverment, what duties are owed to the employee by the employer?
storm pro
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 2:03 pm:   

All of our hearts and prayers are with the Garoutte family and friends.

As I stated on a previous post I have first hand knowledge of the dangerous roof conditions that exist in Fairfax County VA. I was in on the beginining of that CAT and it was clear in the firt couple of weeks that it was going to be very dangerous working there. Almost all of the roofs that we were climbing were 10/12 pitches or better and they were all two story (some higher if they had a walkout basement). Got to meet Dan Cougar early on and was introduced to his new product "Cougar Paws" which made the job alot easier for all of us.
There were several reports of adjusters falling off roofs early on, and thankfully only some minor injuries occured. Everyone was aware of the potential for disaster early on and I wonder if any precautions were ever mandated by the carriers or vendors beyond "Be careful out there". It is certainly up to the individual to look out for him/herself in all situations, however if the carrier is willing to provide the IA's with a 32' ladder loaner and insist that all roofs be inspected, where is their responsibilty to insure for the safety of the adjusters. What about a loaner rope and harness? Or at the very least mandate the useage by the IA's.

As I reflected on this tragic event, it struck me that myself and fellow adjusters who were working there had done some pretty incredibley stupid things to get on roofs, like putting our extended 16' ladders in the trunks of our cars to get an extra 2or 3 feet to reach an unusually high one story roof or leaping from a garage dormer to the second story roof. When we gathered for dinner that night we would boast about the crazy stunt we had pulled that day to get on a roof. In retrospect it seems we were all quite fortunate and in the future maybe we will all exercise a little more common sense in these situations.

Furthermore it goes without saying that we all must be properly prepared in the event of such a tragedy ie: disability insurance, health insurance
etc. Weigh the expense of the premiums against what is at stake. This tragic event is a wake-up call to everyone who thinks it will never happen to them (including myself without a disability policy) Hopefully someday maybe we will be able to pool our resources through CADO and make insurance coverage more affordable for everyone.

Some final thoughts on this subject:
Where does OSHA fit in here?
Will they investigate this accident?
Could they have been called in earlier to review the working conditions in an effort avert this tragedy?
Does OSHA have any juristiction with regards to our workplace as independents?

I certainly hope that no one thinks the timing of my comments is inappropriate. I just needed to vent some of my thoughts that were stirred by this tragedy. My heart and prayers are with Glen Garoutte as he is called home to the Lord. May his loss of life serve us all to work smarter and safer from now on.
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 10:29 am:   

In light of this horrid tradgedy for Nancy Garuotte and indeed all our wives, we adjusters working as employees for the vendors need NOW a real group health plan. I too, am 'running nakid thru the brambles' without health insurance and at this point even a simple earache is something I cannot afford much less what poor Glen and his wife now face in Virginia.

Let's face it. Since the IRS ruled that we are temps, our industry has changed dramatically. It is high time that the vendors change with the times and provide a real group health plan rather than the stop-gap cafeteria plans now in effect.

If the vendors want a loyal core of troops, a group health plan would cinch the saddle on me!
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 2:59 am:   

Just went back to the forum and read of Mr. Garouttes passing. I am sad and humbled. Will continue prayers for Mr. Garoutte and family.
Posted on Saturday, March 04, 2000 - 2:50 am:   

My prayers along with all others are directed to the care for Mr. Garoutte and his family.Could not sleep thinking of Mr. Garoutte's recent postings. Presently not climbing roofs, and have this time to study for additional certifications, listen, and write late night email. Injuries due to a recent fall not important enough to talk about compared to Mr. Garouttes and Mr. Bobbitts. I enjoy the work, including the climbing. Although ever aware of the danger, we all know from some experience how we were saved due to 'good luck' as opposed to our great care, training and skills. I will continue to take any relevant,advise and training as is available to safely continue to do something I like.

Keep the prayers for everyones' safety coming.
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2000 - 10:33 pm:   

Posted on Friday, March 03, 2000 - 9:22 pm:   

those northern va. roofs can be tough and, like glen, there but for the grace of God go any one of us. while i hate to appear insensitive to the feelings of the family members, i would be interested in knowing how/why these accidents occurred. if for no other reason than so we'll know what to avoid/watch out for in the future.
CADO Staff
Posted on Friday, March 03, 2000 - 5:26 pm:   

We are posting this thread for those who may want to post safety concerns, protective tips, or experiences in light of the 2nd roofing accident of a CADO cat adjuster within the past year.

We ask that you use the thread: Glen Garoutte OUR PRAYERS Are With You: to post your thoughts, feelings and prayers for Glen, his wife Nancy, his family, friends, and adjusting associates.

Let us commit today to honor Glen by striving to improve on the job roof safety, so that what happened today never happens to another cat adjuster again. By honoring Glen in this manner, what happened in these two horrible tragedies will not have been in vain.

Two roofing accidents in less than a year is two too many. PLEASE, BE CAREFUL while up on the roof. We are all part of an extended family and when one of us suffers, we all feel the hurt and pain.

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