It’s everyone’s responsibility to watch out for their own safety as well as that of others when they’re on a roofing project, or if they’re inspecting their own roof. Most roofing companies don’t recommend that people go out on their own roof to look for damage, but sometimes you have no choice. Being a roofer isn’t easy, and each time you go out onto a roof you risk an injury.
Roofers are at a higher risk of falling from ladders, scaffolds, or roofs, which is why it’s always best to let a professional roofing company do the job for you. If you do have to go out on your roof yourself, read on to learn some roof safety hazards, and some tips to help keep you safe.
1. Roof Stability
When the roof is unstable, there may be a risk of it collapsing under your weight. Always check for stability before more than one person goes onto the roof.
2. Weather Conditions
Shingles can easily become slippery if it’s been raining or snowing, and falls become more likely. Snow can also add weight to the roof, which means you should postpone any work until the weather conditions are better.
3. Ladder Placement
Most roofing accidents happen because the ladder is placed incorrectly. The feet should always be secure, the top of the ladder should be tied to the roof whenever possible, and the ladder should always be placed away from electrical wires.
4. Edge Awareness
It’s a lot easier than you would think to lose awareness of where you are on the roof. Falling from the edge can cause serious injury or death, and even experienced roofers can lose track of the edge. Take a minute every now and then to judge where you are in relation to the edge.
5. Holes in the Roof
Falling through the roof can cause serious injury, and is something you can easily avoid by carrying out a simple check. Look for any holes or skylights that haven’t been covered up.
6. Pitch of the Roof
Houses with a steeper pitch will require more care while on the roof since it’s more likely to fall off a roof than you would on a house with a flat roof. There’s also an increased danger from falling shingles on a sloped roof so make sure all shingle bundles are properly secured.
7. Roof Safety Tips
Always keep ladders at least 10 feet from any electrical wires in order to avoid being electrocuted. Check your ladder for defects and always climb facing the ladder. Need carry awkward or heavy loads up or down ladders. If you’re over six feet above the ground, fall protection like safety net systems, guardrails, and personal fall-arrest systems must be in place. If you are not comfortable with heights or on a ladder, never go up on a roof. Be aware of your physical limitations and don’t push yourself outside them while on a roof.
Always wear proper shoes or boots with a good tread and rubber soles when you go out onto a roof. This will help prevent slips and falls. Always use and wear the appropriate protective gear like goggles and headgear if you are on a roof and using any equipment.
Never go out onto a roof by yourself. Always have someone with you in case something happens. Never go out onto a roof when it is snowing, windy, or raining. Never go out onto your roof while you are taking medications that can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or intoxication. In the same vein, don’t work on a roof while intoxicated, and make sure to drink plenty of fluids on hot summer days.
Rely on a professional roofer who can do the job for you. Allow an expert to inspect your roof and look for damage, and then repair it.