Monday, March 12th, 2018 by Joe Metz
Roofing Safety Tips
At some point, most homeowners are going to need to their roofs to be repaired or replaced. With the severity of the weather, this is an inevitable fact. Roofing is not just a tough job, but it's also dangerous. To reduce the risk to those working on the roof, both the company and the homeowner should follow some of the procedures. Doing so will not only prevent a potentially lethal fall or injury, but it will also save the company money from having to pay worker's compensation, and the homeowner from experiencing what could be a traumatic experience.
The first task any roofing company should provide to their employees is training in fall protection. After all, you can equip a worker with all the tools they need to reduce their fall, and how to keep themselves safe if they do fall, but if they don't know how to utilize it, then it isn't going to help them all that much. As such, companies should give their workers thorough and extensive fall protection training. As a homeowner, you should also inquire into the company to ensure that they have given their workers training.
2. Fall Protection
In general, workers who are exposed to a potential fall of six feet or more should be equipped with a fall arrest system. The thinking behind the fall arrest is that if a worker accidentally falls, the system will keep them from falling to the lower level. The system usually consists of an anchor, a harness, and a lifeline which is also known as a lanyard. The harness should fit quite snugly with the D-ring attachment to the harness centered between the shoulder blades of the worker. The leg straps should also be adjusted until they fit snugly. Body belts should not be used since they can cause injury to the worker during the fall.
The anchor that is being used in the fall arrest system should be able to support 5,000 pounds per worker. During roofing, anchors are not allowed to attach to sheathing, single trusses, and most guard rails because they're not strong enough to act as anchors. It's suggested, instead, to anchor in a structural member by driving the fasteners into the rafters or truss member below the sheathing. Employers should inspect these arrests, especially if they have been used to arrest a fall, to ensure that there is no wear, and they are safe to be reused.
3. Rescue Plan
In conjunction with the fall arrest system, employers should also make sure they have a fall rescue plan. Their workers should also be trained to rescue a fallen worker who is being suspended by the fall arrest system because a worker who is hanging for too long can sometimes develop injuries. Quick action is required to keep them from developing these suspension injuries. As such, the company should ensure that each worker is prepared to help their fellow roofing co-workers to keep the employee safe.
4. Eye Protection
It may not seem like eye protection would be necessary during something like roofing, but you'd be surprised. One tiny mistake could send a nail through your eye. As such, employers should make sure that their workers have eye protection and are wearing them whilst working on the roof. This can also promote roof safety. Without the chance of an injury occurring, work can be performed smoothly. An eye injury can sometimes be disruptive enough to begin a chain of events that could potentially lead to further injury and damage to the roof. Which is why, in the hope of keeping an employee safe and promoting roofing safety, all workers will be equipped with eye protection.
5. Ladder Safety
Another method to promote roof safety is training in the use of ladders. Since ladders are a convenient and easy tool to use for roofing, they're commonly found on sites. However, ladders can also cause potential injuries if not inspected for wear. Like other tools, ladders can break over time. As such, the company should be sure that each ladder that is being used should be inspected to ensure that they are not broken or close to breaking. Companies should also keep their employees safe by giving them the proper training in ladder safety. Being able to tell when a ladder needs to be replaced or how to properly climb and descend a ladder is crucial as climbing the ladder the wrong way could cause injury to not only them but those around them as well. They should also be told not to carry anything while using a ladder and instead use a bucket to pull up and down to the roof and ground. Ladders should be tied off and secured to ensure that no one is knocked off while using it.
6. Equipment Storage
The site of any construction can become messy. It may be easier to place your tools closer by, but if that area is close to a potentially dangerous device, it should be avoided. Things like gas cans should never be brought close to a generator or air compressor. Employers should make sure that their employees know exactly where to place their tools to promote safety not only to them but to the homeowners as well.
7. Protective Ground Wear
Roofing safety isn't just about the workers on the roof. There are men and women on the ground, too, and as such, all employees should ensure that they are wearing hard hats anytime they are on the job site. Regardless of their position and the work they're doing, hard hats should be worn to prevent injury. It may be wise for those entering and exiting the home during work hours to wear a hard hat while traversing, too. Head injuries can be common in construction, and a hard hat is a sure means to prevent potentially lethal or life-altering injuries.
1. Clear The Job Site
While the construction is going, and even when it is not an active site, you should endeavor to keep your children and pets away from the zone. While construction is going on, if your child or pet wanders into the area, they could risk injuring themselves on tools that are left on the ground, or debris that is falling from the roof. They could also pose a distraction for the workers. Distractions can lead to mistakes which can, in turn, lead to injuries. So, it's best to keep your family and loved ones indoors or away from the site during construction.
2. Dump Sites
Roofing is messy, and as such, there's going to a few dump sites for all of the debris. This material can sometimes have nails and other dangerous objects within it, so it's best to avoid these areas until the company has cleared it up afterward.
In an effort to promote safety, My-Pros offers these suggestions the next time you're about to begin a big roofing project. You should also refer to the guidelines OSHA has implemented for further safety rules during roofing construction.