Roofing Safety: Roof Safety Tips

Based on OSHA’s fall prevention campaign, they summarize the proper roofing safety practices as “Plan, Provide and Train,” which is something that we provide to all our work crews. This simply means:

  • Plan – In order to get the job done properly, roofing contractors need a roof safety plan for each worksite, making sure that they have the proper equipment, material and having the appropriately trained workers. Also, the contractors knowing the pitch of the roof and following the appropriate procedure for a low or steep slope roof. Doing this provides a better and thorough roofing safety plan.
  • Provide – Roofing Contractors must be trained to have the right pieces of equipment, such as the types of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
  • Train – Roofers must be trained on how to use each piece of equipment that is used for the job. They must be trained in hazard recognition as well as the care and safety of ladders, scaffolds, and other equipment that they will be using on the job.

Fall Protection Requirements

Falls are very common when it comes to roofing; they are a leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths to the workers. When a roofer is working six feet or above, this puts each roofer at risk of serious injury or even death if they were to fall.

Fall Protection Training 

Commercial roofing contractors must provide fall protection training for all workers who would be exposed to the chances of falling. The training must be conducted by a person who is competent and has good knowledge within the roofing industry. The information that would be provided should include information on how to recognize fall hazards and the procedures to follow in order to minimize the chances of serious incidents occurring.

Roofer Tool Safety

When roofing, it all comes down to the tools that you are using; therefore, power tools and equipment that is used can be extremely hazardous and can cause severe injuries if used incorrectly. Furthermore, employers can reduce the risk of injuries by simply providing the correct tool guards and trained workers, which makes a huge improvement in the roofing safety plan.

Power tools such as nail guns, saws, etc., should have the proper shields, guards, or safety attachments that are specified by the manufacturer. Employers must also ensure that each worker using power tools is wearing appropriate eye protection. Therefore, every local roofing contractor should replace a tool guard that is missing or has been damaged in order to provide safety for their workers.

All workers must be able to properly use each tool and are properly trained. It is very important to discuss tool safety features, safe operating procedures, and work practices, such as proper body placement.

Personal Protective Equipment

With any construction job, every local roofing contractor has a duty to protect its workers from hazards and injuries. However, where the hazard cannot be eliminated by other types of controls such as engineering or administrative controls, the local roofing contractor must ensure that workers wear the appropriate PPE.

The typical PPE used with various roofing tools and equipment is nail guns, generator/air compressor, shingle stripper, tin snips, power saw, etc.

  • Nail Guns: When using a nail gun, workers must wear protection (particularly eye protection) in order to prevent the nail gun from causing severe, irreparable injury. Also, always avoid carrying it against the body or with a finger on the trigger.
  • Generator/air compressor: It’s important to wear eye protection and other protection while working near any pressurized equipment.
  • Shingle Stripper: Always make sure you’re wearing the proper footwear and eye protection.
  • Tin snips: It’s extremely important to wear work gloves and safety glasses when discarding waste or any scrap metal.
  • Power saw: Making sure you’re wearing hearing protection, eye protection, and work gloves. Ensuring that guards are placed and functioning properly.

Weather Conditions

During the fall and winter time, weather conditions can become very hazardous, especially when it comes to high winds, wet weather, and icy conditions. Roofing safety plans become important at that point. Therefore local roofing contractors should consider suspending any operations in bad weather. Mainly when working on any type of roofing surface that could be slippery when it’s wet, which includes slate, tile, metal roofs. Furthermore, as local roofing contractors, we always do our utmost to promote safety and avoid working in serious weather conditions.

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