Although roofing contractors take a risk every time they climb on a ladder, staying safe at any height is within reach if you follow a few simple steps.
Follow all Safety Guidelines for Roofing Contractors
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has several best practices that aim to protect roofing contractors. Every ladder use on the job must meet OSHA regulations. You should also inspect each one before use to ensure all of its parts are in working order.
For safety reasons, roofing contractors should always maintain “three points of contact (two hands and a foot)” when climbing up or down a ladder. This safety practice decreases falls, because it provides more balance and allows roofers to grab onto something if they begin to fall.
Personal Fall Arrest System
Every roofing contractor should have a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS), which are tools available to roofers working on replacement jobs. A PFAS is designed to safely stop a fall before an individual hits a lower level. It includes tools like special elevated anchor assemblies, which prevent lifelines from contacting the roof’s surface, where a line could catch on a nail or debris. In addition, many roofing contractors also use horizontal lifelines and rope grabs.
In addition, many roofing contractors also use horizontal lifelines and rope grabs. An engineered horizontal lifeline system increases the area in which a worker is protected. Rope grabs enable contractors to adjust the length of their lifeline. They can be useful when workers are frequently moving around a roof.
Create Safety Policies and Procedures
If you run a roofing business, it’s best to outline policies and procedures that your workers can adhere to. Use these guidelines to encourage your employees to practice workplace safety.
- Detail in writing who is allowed on a roof and under what circumstances
- Establish a record of who is on a roof and at what time they are there
- Monitor the record
- Train all employees on safety best practices
- Create a disciplinary plan for those workers who don’t follow safety guidelines
- Encourage employees to continually educate themselves about roof safety
Wear the Right Gear
One of the keys to staying safe is having the right equipment. In fact, one of the leading causes of accidents is a lack of safety equipment, such as a harness or a roofer’s lifeline.
Experienced roofing contractors also wear high-quality shoes or boots to prevent slips and falls. The most important aspect of these shoes is that they provide good traction. A helmet may be worn to prevent head injuries in the event of a fall. Workers should also protect themselves by wearing weather-appropriate clothing, like sunglasses or gloves.
Encouraging and enforcing best practices for roof safety should be your number one priority, because it will not only protect your work force, but it will also limit costly worker’s compensation insurance claims.