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10 Crucial Safety Tips to Enforce for Roofing Jobs

10 Crucial Safety Tips to Enforce for Roofing Jobs

Safety Tips

Let’s be honest. No one really likes working on a roof of any kind. There are so many things that can go wrong. And, when things go wrong, they often go horribly wrong!

When roof working is your job, you don’t have a choice about whether you’re getting up on a roof or not. Installing a roof walkway system is only one of the many ways to make sure workers are absolutely safe while they’re on the roof.

Tips to Keep Your Workers on the Roof

Tips to Keep Your Workers on the Roof

In Australia, falls are the main reason for work-related injuries requiring hospitalization. In fact, a recent study has shown some alarming statistics. Between 2018 -2019 a staggering 43% of hospitalized injuries and 39% of injury deaths were as a result of falls!

When it comes to roof work, there should never be any shortcuts, no matter how quick or easy the job might seem. Keep reading for a few crucial safety tips that should always be adhered to during any type of roof work.

Install a Roof Walkway System

If you’re the owner of a building that might need roof repairs or roof access to perform different forms of maintenance, this point is for you. It’s important to have a roof walkway system installed for workers and contractors to have safe access to all areas of the roof.

Roof walkway systems allow workers to get their equipment and tools to the required place. A professionally installed roof walkway system prevents slip and fall incidents. The last thing you want, or need is to have workers trying to stay on the roof while carrying tools and equipment. One wrong step could result in a fatal accident.

Secure Any Additional Ladders

If you’re going to use any ladders in addition to the roof walkway system, take the time to make sure they’re secured to the building if possible. This will ensure that workers don’t have to stress about keeping the ladder steady while carrying heavy tools up onto the roof.

Wear Appropriate Safety Clothes

Roof workers should also be mindful of wearing the right clothes. Never wear big bulky jackets that could get stuck on something and cause you to fall. Work boots with a good grip are an absolute must. Leather gloves will protect your hands and provide additional grip if you suddenly need to grab onto something.

Organize As You Work

It’s easy to slip on loose tiles, screws, or other items lying around on the roof area. Once you’re on the roof, analyze what needs to be done and organize everything around you. Set up a work area and keep the space clean and organized. Place loose items together and out of the way. The trick is to clean as you go and keep items away from the area where anyone needs to walk.

Always Use Safety Ropes/Straps

Working in any high environment should always be accompanied by a roof harness. Ensure the harness can hold the weight of the worker wearing it. Safety ropes, harnesses, and straps will prevent a worker from falling off the roof if they accidentally slip.

Never Work During Bad Weather

The golden rule in roofing should be to never work during harsh weather. Rain, snow, and other wet conditions will create a slippery surface, making the area an accident waiting to happen! Excessive windy conditions are also a bad idea! No matter how experienced your roofing team is, this is not a risk worth taking!

Compensate for Hazardous Materials

If your workers have to work with paint, asbestos, adhesives or other hazardous chemicals, it’s important to ensure the correct safety masks are worn. Fumes from the chemicals can make workers lightheaded, putting them at risk for fall accidents. Additionally, some fumes can lead to respiratory illnesses.

Additional Safety Precautions

If the type of roof your team is working on is steep it might be a clever idea to add guardrails. Installing guardrails or even scaffolding will go a long way toward keeping workers safer on steep or overly slippery roof areas.

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Assess the Surroundings

Depending on where the building is situated, the roof might be close to power lines. If the work being done is near these lines, you should consult the utility company to shut off the power for the few hours it takes to complete the job.

Note: although the power might have been shut off, always remind workers to treat any electric cables as live.

Use Tools for Intended Purposes

No matter what tools, gear or equipment will be on the roof, these items should only be used for their intended purposes. Using tools or equipment for the wrong purposes can increase the risk of accidents. Make it a rule with workers that shortcuts and quick fixes aren’t allowed!

Final Thought

Roofing isn’t a job everyone can do—the position deserves respect!

Whether you’re a roofer, building owner, or contract manager it’s important to ensure the safety of whoever will be working on the roof. The right safety equipment, gear, and precautions will ensure you and your team don’t become another statistic!

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