Working on a roof can be extremely dangerous. In the construction industry, falls account for more deaths and serious injury than any other accident, meaning that when working on your roof it’s absolutely vital that the right safety equipment is used and that every precaution is taken to ensure that the risk of a fall occurring is minimal. If you are planning on re-roofing your home or carrying out any other form of work on the roof of your property, read this guide to ensure that you’re fully aware of all the safety precautions necessary.
Before you carry out any work on your roof or determine the safety equipment that you will need, it’s important that you perform a risk assessment to identify any risks before you begin. Being aware of any risks will ensure that you know exactly which precautions must be taken.
Getting On and Off
Getting on and off the roof is one of the simplest tasks involved with roofing work, however it’s essential that the right tools are used in order to ensure that the level of risk is kept to a minimum. At the very least, it is essential that you use a safe, properly secured ladder.
Whenever there is a possibility of somebody falling more than 2m, it’s essential that you use some form of edge protection when working on your roof. If you are not experienced with roof work, it’s recommended that you use edge protection even for a shorter height. Sometimes a roof parapet will provide adequate protection, but if not you may need to obtain further protection such as a rail guard.
Fall Arrest Equipment
Depending on the type and height of your roof and whether or not you have experience carrying out roofing work, you may need to use some form of fall protection equipment. Safety nets or harnesses are available to use when working on a roof, and although they do not prevent falls completely, they are very effective in minimizing injuries should an accident occur. However, it’s important to note that simply using a fall safety net or harness does not mean that the use of edge protection should be ignored.
Other Safety Precautions
Along with using the correct safety equipment, there are a number of further safety precautions that should be taken in order to minimize the risk of accidents when carrying out work on your roof. You should keep the area tidy and be aware of any items or materials that could fall and cause damage or injury to others, as well as avoiding working during bad weather such as wind or rain. If you have never carried out any roofing work before, it is recommended that you obtain expert help or training before you begin.
Are you an experienced roofer? What advice do you have regarding safety equipment and minimizing risk for those looking to carry out roofing work on their homes? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.