Roofing Safety Tips for Working at Heights

August 28, 2018 | General
Roofing Safety Tips for Working at Heights

Working at a height is treacherous, that’s a fact. Statistics show that 49% of fatal construction injuries are caused by falling from a height, which proves this beyond doubt. As a result, there are stringent safety requirements that must be followed. In this blog post, we’ll explore certain measures that should be taken to protect your employees and the general public.

Tip One – Plan for Everything

As with any construction project, a plan is essential. However, we’re not just talking about the work here. The safety of your coworkers should be at the forefront of your mind, as to do a job well, you must do it safely. Whether you’re re-roofing a domestic property or fitting a brand-new roof on a commercial building, you should adhere to the following safety protocols.

Safe access is extremely important. There’s no use fitting a new roof using a rickety ladder or loose guard rails, as an accident will invariably happen. We’d recommend sturdy scaffolding, ladders or scaffolding towers, as these are proven methods that are sure to work well. You should use these on all but the shortest of projects, so don’t skimp on safety.

You should also wear the correct equipment. It might be appealing on a summer’s day, but a roofing job in a T-shirt and shorts is a bad idea! Apart from the sunburn and dehydration, you’ll also cut yourself on sharp roofing tiles or loose material. To combat this, make sure you wear the correct trousers, footwear and safety helmets. If you’re working with a lot of loose material, safety goggles are essential. A Hi-Vis vest is also necessary, both for yourself and your coworkers.

Tip Two – Avoid Fragile Surfaces

Fragile surfaces are a roofer’s worst nightmare, as without proper training, you may not be able to locate them. This can lead to unfortunate accidents for both your colleagues and bystanders. Common culprits include roof lighting, sheet roofing and domestic properties, as the risk is not as readily apparent.

Roof lighting, including skylights, are especially susceptible to collapse under pressure. Their location should be cordoned off or clearly marked as to avoid collapse or injury. You should keep an eye out for skylights that are designed to blend in with the roof, especially if you’re working with decreased visibility during winter.

Sheet roofing is another risky premise, as it often cannot support a great deal of weight. You should never attempt to walk on a sheet roof without the proper precautions in place. These could include a platform or safety netting below the roof.

Domestic properties are also particularly susceptible to fragility, as the roof is an often-ignored part of every home. Tiles may slip or older flat roofing may give way under too much weight, so it’s important to take every precaution. As you’ve probably heard before, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Tip Three – Protect the Public

Construction projects often take place in busy areas, so you need to focus on the safety of those around you. Every long-term roofing project should have guard rails, as these protect you and pedestrians that may be walking below. A slightly raised platform should be installed alongside these guard rails too, as this protects people from debris that may fall as you complete your work.

A clean construction site is an effective construction site. You should never leave debris lying around, especially if you’re working at a height. A chute should be installed to safely lower the debris into a container, or you can safely lower debris down yourself. As long as this process is monitored, you shouldn’t experience any problems.

Work Smart and Hard

No matter your roofing project, you should undertake accredited training courses to familiarise yourself with the correct procedure. That’s where we come in. We offer a Firestone RubberCover training course in High Wycombe and Winsford, which should bring you up to speed on Firestone EPDM and its many uses.

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