Working on the roof is one of the most dangerous jobs. Broken bones, back injuries, puncture wounds, repetitive motion injuries and heat-related injuries are common roofing injuries; hence, the importance of taking extraordinary safety measures to ensure you climb and down again with your life intact. Falling from the roof is responsible for around 30 percent of the accidents and injuries suffered by the construction industry. The other types of injuries or accidents that make it mandatory to be safe on the roof include;
- Struck by other objects
These falls are often the result of the following:
- Falling from roof edges
- Falling from ladders
- Falling through skylights
- Unspecified roof falls
- Falling through roof openings
- Falling through roof surfaces
Falling from scaffolds Below are the 5 top roofing safety tips you should observe to avoid injuries and accidents:
Never Work on the Roof Alone
First, try to work with another person. Roofing work is too risky to attempt doing alone. The goal of working with somebody else is to receive help quickly in case you fall or injure yourself. It is hard to help yourself up in case you fall from the roof. Some accidents might incapacitate you for sometimes rendering you helpless. Without a helper on site, you will probably worsen the situation thus diminishing your chances of survival through first aid and proper treatment afterward. Forget the cost of hiring an extra hand and just have somebody around you.
Set the Ladder up on Solid Ground
Be careful where you set up the ladder. It should be on a surface that is both solid and level. Use ladder stabilizers too. Attach this stabilizer onto the top of the ladder. There are times when you will have no option other than setting the ladder up on a portion of the ground that is full of grass or dirt. Dig holes on that portion of the ground so that the ladder’s bottom remains firmly in place. Attaching a board behind the legs of the ladder you are using is highly recommended to prevent it from slipping.
Work on the Roof when it is Dry
The roof should be as dry as possible while you work on it. If you must climb the roof when it is wet, be careful to step on the right areas. A wet roof is quite slippery. The likelihood of falling from the roof to the ground below increases substantially as you walk on slippery or wet surfaces on the roof. Avoid stepping on leaves, twigs and any other type of debris you see on the roof. Such innocent-looking and seemingly harmless stuff are capable of making the surface slippery; thereby enhancing your chances of falling and suffering severe injuries.
Wear Safety Harness and Gear
Wearing a safety harness all the time you spend on the roof is mandatory. The harness protects you. In fact, a full body harness is central to your safety while on the roof. Other safety systems worth investing in and wearing include rope lanyards, web lanyards, cable positioning, shock absorbing devices, retractable, safety nets and rail systems among others. The safety harness protects you from falling. Wear the harness when working on a roof that is six feet or more away from the ground. Do not forget to wear sturdy shoes fitted with good traction too.
Observe the Weather
Lastly, never ignore or underrate the role weather plays in your safety. Be as safe as possible by postponing the roofing work to a day when the weather is a bit more favorable. Avoid climbing the roof to install, repair or replace it when thunderstorms threaten to hit the city or town. Apart from snow and rain, you should also stop or postpone working on the roof when the winds are too strong for comfort. Strong winds can blow you off the roof and send you hurling to the ground. Strong winds might also blow some of your equipment off the roof, thus causing injuries below.