There was no OSHA at the time (or if there was, we were so far off of the beaten path in a small town in Oregon that my employer wasn't concerned with it) - so few, if any, safety measures were in place. We often worked with no shirts on, no protective gear other than gloves and boots, and never any safety harnesses -- not a big deal on hot-asphalt roofs, as they're generally fairly flat, but on the steeped pitched roofs of the old Victorian homes on which we worked, safety harnesses would have been a good idea! I worked on a small pitched roof on the side of a grain elevator once - about 7 stories up (74 ft), and the guy with whom I was working, a very experienced roofer, scrambled after a piece of equipment that started to slide and he almost went with it (see photo below) -- not very smart and could have cost him his life -- no harnesses that day either. Note that the building on the left is about 100 yards closer than the grain elevator on the right, so the scale appears distorted -- it was way up there! When I was about 17 years old, I once packed a 30-ft ladder on my shoulder, up the side of that same grain elevator, via a built-in vertical ladder embedded in the side of the building. Again, no safety equipment -- lucky I'm still alive!
Click Here for Additional Information