Roofing Work – Top Ten Safety Hazards
Here at D-marc we take the subject of safety seriously – after all, our products are designed to provide an extra level of safety, especially when it comes to working on roofs. Today we’re going to take a look at the top ten safety hazards faced by roof workers in the construction industry.
- Stability – before going onto any roof, check the surface to ensure it’s strong enough to take the weight. Flat roofs, in particular become fragile due to exposure to weather conditions. If the roof is fragile, it’s best to do the work from ground level if possible. If not, a rooftop walkway which spreads the weight may be necessary in order to provide safe access or a safe place to work.
- Ladder Placement – check that the ladder is correctly placed (at an angle of 4:1) and that the feet are secure on a stable base. Check that the top of the ladder rises above the roofline and is tied securely.
- Holes and Skylights – check for poorly covered holes and unguarded skylights, both of which can be just as deadly as the edge of the roof. Use roof barrier protection systems to cordon off any skylights and roof holes to ensure safety.
- Edge Awareness – staying aware of the edge may be difficult for those concentrating on the work they are undertaking on a roof. A demarcation barrier system should be installed at least 2m from the edge to prevent access.
- Training – anybody who is accessing a roof without the correct training is a danger to themselves and others around them. It’s essential that anybody working on a roof (either on the roof itself or on machinery and plant located on the roof) undergoes the right training course.
- Fall Protection Equipment – it’s essential that all fall protection equipment (whether it’s a collective protection solution or personal protective equipment) is used correctly and is suitable for the task at hand.
- Pitch – if it’s a pitched roof, the rule is “the steeper the roof, the easier the fall”. It’s vital that collective fall protection equipment and shingle bundles are made secure before setting foot on the roof.
- Poor Line of Sight – ridge vents, chimneys, plant, machinery and even shingle bundles may block egress on a roof.
- Split Levels - any workers engaged in roofing work on low-slope and split level roofs with unprotected sides and edges should be provided with the relevant fall protection equipment for the work being undertaken.
Rooftop safety is the responsibility of every single person involved in the project. The dangers are always there, but identifying the risks and ensuring the use of fall protection measures and equipment will help to avoid injuries and deaths.