Installing a new roof or repairing one is no easy task. It requires a love for heights that not many people have. In addition, one must be well protected and hydrated to endure extreme weather and the physical exertion that comes with the job.
For the roofer’s safety, it is essential to minimize the risk of injuries such as pulled muscles and back strains. But above all, one must avoid falling at all costs! To ensure you are safe on a roof, you must follow some steps that will help you neutralize hazards to work more comfortably and safely.
1. Examine the Structure Properly
Whoever does the initial checkup in your crew must examine the roof’s structure properly to ensure it is strong enough to withstand the weight of the workers and the tools. Moreover, any weak spots should be marked appropriately to raise awareness amongst the crew only to approach that area with additional safety equipment. Take note of the roof’s current state to choose when it’s the appropriate time to work on it, and avoid working in hazardous conditions such as rain. Even a day after it rains, the material can still be slippery, thus increasing the potential for falls.
2. Wear Appropriate Equipment
It’s required by federal guidelines for roofing employers to provide adequate protection to their workers to avoid falls. Learning how to use the safety equipment properly to protect yourself and your colleagues is also essential. In addition to this, taking a first aid course will help the whole crew act rapidly in case an emergency presents. The whole crew should wear appropriate safety boots with a soft rubber sole that can grip onto a structure. You should also wear a hard hat at all times.
On top of the personal Equipment, you should make use of these fall protection systems:
- Safety Nets
- PFA Systems (Personal Fall Arrest)
- Warning Lines
- Safety Monitoring
3. Keep the Coast Clear
Keeping the roof clear of obstacles will make the job smoother and safer for the whole crew. Make sure that all tools not in use have a designated spot and that nothing is left on the way, as this has hazardous potential to cause someone to trip. If a crew member is on the ground, ensure they are wearing a hard hat at all times as it is typical for debris and other material to fall off the roof during jobs.
4. Keep Learning, Keep Training
Taking all the safety and first aid courses you can is the best bet for the whole team. Ensuring the entire crew is properly trained to face a fall and protect themselves from it is essential to provide a calm and productive work environment. Do not think twice about investing in safety workshops.
In Case of an Emergency
Develop an emergency action plan (EAP) to know what needs to happen if a safety emergency occurs at a work site. If an accident does happen, remain calm. If a colleague falls from the roof, call 911 immediately and apply first aid protocol until first responders arrive at the scene. Do not attempt to move your colleague or help them up; encourage them to stay on the spot until they are examined by a professional.