According to statistics, the U.S. sees an average of 5 deaths a month related to roofing accidents and falls. This is why roofing safety should be a primary concern when it comes to any construction job.
Taking the time to ensure a roofing construction site is prepared properly could literally mean the difference between life and death for roofers.
Here some of the most important roofing safety tips to keep in mind the next time you rig up…
1. Prepare Your Work Area
Before any construction job begins, you’ll need to designate and clear out your work area. Make sure this area is adequately blocked off from pets, children, and the general public.
Make sure you identify all nearby safety hazards. This includes power lines, gas lines, damaged water pipes, damaged areas of the roof and guttering etc.
Block off these hazardous areas and ensure all team members are fully aware of these hazards before you begin.
2. Prevent Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents account for the majority of death-related incidents amongst roofers in the U.S.
Some of the most important safety pointers to remember include:
- Under no circumstances should you work on a wet roof
- Always keep your work area free from dirt and debris
- Always wear appropriate safety gear such as a harness-lanyard system
- Always set up a safety net and guardrails
- Be cautious around skylights
- Remember correct ladder safety techniques
Taking the necessary precautions to prevent these types of accidents is always necessary, no matter the size of the job.
Whether you’re under a time crunch or think you have enough experience, roofing protection, and fall restraint should be your main priority. Learn more about adequate fall restraint here.
3. Prioritize Ladder Safety
Using a damaged or makeshift ladder is out-of-the-question for any kind of roofing job. All ladders must conform to local safety codes according to the American Ladders Institute.
Always place your ladder on level, solid ground – sloping driveways are a major no-no. Your ladder should always be tied off at the top with a plywood brace. Along with this, make sure your ladder is well anchored with stakes or a cinder block.
Your ladder should also rest against a solid surface and extend at least 36-inches about the roof to make for a secure landing.
Climbing your ladder safely is equally important. Remember to face the ladder and mount one rung at a time. Maintaining three points of contact with the ladder at all times is your best bet for a safe ascent and descent!
4. Implement Electrical Safety Precautions
One of the greatest dangers to roofers is exposure to electricity lines which may run over or near a roof. What’s most important to remember is that electricity can leap from a cable to a metal object from several feet away.
This is why it’s worthwhile using only a wood or fiberglass ladder when working near electrical wires and cables. Metal materials such as drip edging or flashing should be kept a safe distance from electrical cables too.
5. Handle Roofing Materials Correctly
A roofing job requires a variety of heavy materials which need to be lifted a fair distance. Handling these materials safely will help to prevent injury.
Always bend at the knees when lifting heavy materials and carry one bundle of wood at a time. Make sure to use a ladder lift or hoisting system for very heavy loads.
Store all roofing materials as close to the house as possible, cutting back on wasted energy having to retrieve heavy materials.
Roofing Safety Is Vital
Looking for the right contractor to handle your re-roofing job? You’ll want to ensure they put roofing safety at the forefront of all construction work, no matter how big or small the project.
Here’s a simple guide to choosing the best builder for your construction job.