Work at Height Advice for Homeowners – Call the Professionals
As a home-owner and DIY enthusiast, you’re probably pretty handy and can do all sorts of jobs and fixes around the house. This is a great way of saving money on minor repairs, decorating, small plumbing jobs, etc. However, whereas in the past, some of the more skilled DIY buffs would undertake some rather ambitious projects, this is something that is becoming more difficult, partly due to the stringent legislation on health and safety that we have nowadays.
Whilst “elf and safety gone mad” is an issue we often enjoy having a bit of a moan about, if you think about it more broadly, the rules are there to protect consumers from both unscrupulous tradespeople (and I must point out, they are in the minority – the professional tradespeople here in the UK are, for the most part, skilled experts who are envied worldwide) and clueless householders who are wannabe DIY experts.
When it comes to the latter, we’ve all heard stories of people who’ve bought a house in good faith, had a survey done, but later discovered that previous owners had made some major changes that would not comply with current building regulations. Luckily, such stories are few and far between, but they do exist. This is why legislation requires certain jobs that we once would have carried out ourselves (or got a mate who knew how to do it), are now undertaken by certified professionals, with the paperwork to prove it. No longer can you buy a second-hand gas oven and plumb it in yourself, you need a Corgi registered engineer to do the job.
Not only does a qualified tradesperson know how to do a safe job and make sure that the work done on your home won’t present you with a danger in future, they will also know how to carry out the work in a safe manner, protecting both themselves, the residents in your home and passers-by from being injured as a result of the work being done. They will also have the requisite insurance policies to protect themselves and you should problem arise due to unforeseen circumstances. This is the type of knowledge and experience that DIYers often don’t have.
When it comes to work on the roof or roofline of your property, the risk of injury is one that is not worth taking to save a few quid, even on very small jobs. You need the correct ladder for the task (rather than a multi-purpose domestic ladder) and you should have had some rudimentary training on ladder use. If the job involves accessing the roof itself, whether it’s pitched or flat, there is a very real danger of an accident resulting in injury, or worse.
Even clearing the guttering is taking a risk. If you’re thinking of carrying out a small repair job on the roof, that brings even more potential hazards. You’ll need tools and materials and the job could very well take more than the recommended time of 30 minutes on job that involves a ladder. Any work at height that’s likely to take more than 30 minutes should be undertaken using a work platform or scaffold.
A professional roofing worker will have the correct tools and equipment to carry out the work safely, with minimum risk. Even for a relatively small job, a tradesperson will have the right equipment to access the work area safely and will be thoroughly trained and experienced in its use. This is why health and safety legislation matters so much – it’s not there to stymie us, it’s there to protect us. So, if you need to do a few jobs that involve working at height, don’t take any risks – get the professionals in.