How to Stay Safe While Roofing
Roofing is an exceptionally dangerous job, which is why Roofing Contractors Insurance is so important to have. The risks of slipping, falling, collapse and equipment failure can case disastrous results if the right safety procedures are not followed. As a contractor, it’s not only important to protect yourself from liability that arises from injury and accidents, but to safeguard your employees from the same. Here’s an overview of some tips to keep you and your workers safe while repairing and replacing roofs.
Accident Factors of Roofing
There are a number of contributing factors to accidents while working on roofs. With the right considerations, the majority of these are easily avoidable. Making sure your workers stay safe while roofing includes accounting for the roof pitch and footing, moisture and slip and fall issues, issues of debris such as dirt or sawdust, the traction of footwear and tools or equipment hazards that can cause workers to trip. Finally, the risk of falling debris striking someone on the ground is a consideration.
General considerations for avoiding accidents during roofing work include the thorough assessment of risks involved on the job. Identify any hazards that might be present and know how to mitigate these risks. Have a safe method for getting on and off the roof, as well as arresting potential falls. Be sure your ladders and scaffolding are solid and stable. Generally speaking, workers should be anchored and tethered when working up high.
Make sure that you have a system in place to reduce the risk of falling debris. Take weather conditions into account and do not work during wet, icy or exceptionally windy conditions. Do not leave tools laying around; engage in good housekeeping practices.
Take into account the risks specific to individual roofs. Fragile roofs that won’t support a person’s weight are a major concern. Slate and tile roofs are exceptionally slick, particularly when wet, and carry serious risks when it comes to falling debris. Roofing that is torch-applied carry risks of burns and fires. Make sure that you account for any risks associated with the kind of roof you are replacing or repairing.
Make sure your workers have stable footing at all times, that they are anchored and tethered when on the roof and that proper procedures are in place to mitigate falls. While moving on the roof, workers should keep a low center of gravity, with bent knees. Every contractor needs to be aware of their surroundings and environment.
When mounting or climbing a ladder, face the ladder; never go down backwards. Be careful about letting materials slide or fall off of the roof. It is better to make multiple trips than to overload yourself when carrying materials or tools. Finally, make sure that all of your workers are thoroughly trained not only in OSHA rules and regulations, but in general safety procedures.
Roof work carries specific and serious risks, and there’s no way to completely avoid any accidents or injuries. However, engaging in proper safety procedures can greatly reduce the risk of contractor liability and ensure your workers stay safe while roofing.