How to Avoid Common Hazards When Installing and Repairing Roofs

The roof is one of the most dangerous places to work during DIY home renovations or as a construction company. This is because you or your employees are at risk of different things that can cause serious injuries and even fatalities through a fall. Whenever you have a roofing project of any kind, you need to take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of workers and compliance with government regulations.

In this guide, we’ll take you through some of the most important safety tips you need to follow.

Strap in with a Harness

There are several protective measures you need to take to ensure that you or your workers avoid a fall, but accidents can still happen. This means that you need to invest in a last line of defence that ensures safety even in the event of a slip. 

There are several types of personal protective equipment (PPE) you need when working on a roof, but ensuring you are strapped in with a harness is one of the most important things. A fall arrest harness is a type of PPE that helps protect people working at elevated positions by absorbing the force of a fall and distributing the rest to the entire body. This equipment is usually attached to an anchor that ensures the wearer remains suspended even if they fall off completely.

However, note that these harnesses come in various designs and styles, and you need to choose them depending on the type of work or amount of time spent on roofs. And before using them, ensure that you inspect each part for wear and tear. You should also confirm that the anchor is strong enough to offer the needed support.

Maintain Clear Work Areas

A cluttered work area is another major cause of falls when working on roofs and other height jobs. If you have your hammer just lying anywhere, this can cause you to trip and end up falling. If an item is also placed far away and you have to stretch to get it or save it from falling, this can result in an accident.

To minimise the risk involved in working on roofs, you need to ensure that the work area is properly organised. First, have a stable and nearby platform where you can keep your tools. Preferably, the most-used ones should also have a tool lanyard that prevents them from falling and harming people on the ground.

Besides the tools, you’ll also need to ensure that the debris caused when doing renovations and the material you are working with don’t obstruct movements. If something needs assembling, it’s advisable that you assemble it on the ground to reduce the amount of work done and time spent on the roof.

Ensure Proper Ladder Safety

The ladders we use for working at heights are responsible for most of the falls that happen. This is because you can easily lose your balance or slip, and the ladder can also detach from its attachments.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, choose a ladder that is sturdy and tall enough to reach the roof edge. You should be comfortable while working and not have to stretch. From there, ensure the ladder is placed on stable and level ground and then secured to prevent it from slipping. You should also follow the 4-to-1 rule, which states that for every four feet of ladder height, you should position the ladder one foot away from the wall or roof edge for stability.

When ascending, descending, and working on the ladder, ensure that you always maintain at least three points of contact. These can be two legs and one hand or two hands and one leg. Doing so will protect you from losing your balance or falling in the event of a minor slip.

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