Working on the roof is a tactical activity that requires skill, some level of experience and extreme care for general safety. It is not for the fainthearted and requires one to be put their mind and total concentration on the job to avoid dangerous encounters.
To avoid the dangers of working on the roof, it is important to take the right precautions. Basic measures such as using the ladder properly, putting on the right footwear and being cautious about weather conditions can go a long way to keep you safe when working on the roof. In this article, we look into more precautionary measures to help you stay safe working above normal heights and specifically the roof.
1. Be Careful How You Place Your Ladder
There are a few things to be mindful about the ladder. One is the kind of ladder you choose and then how you position the ladder while working.
To start with, avoid using a broken ladder at all costs. You might be tempted to use a ladder that has slight weaknesses in the assumption that it can still support you. This is extremely dangerous and poses a great threat to your safety.
Make sure you have a ladder that extends well beyond the roof and positions it firmly. Don’t go up the ladder until you are convinced you to have the basics right.
2. Choose the Right Footwear
Roofing is a daunting task and wearing the same pair of old shoes that you use around the house when going up the roof is a sure recipe for disaster. Paying attention to the right footwear is important for all elevated working activities.
Ensure you wear shoes that have a good gripping rubber sole and a good thread to minimize the chances of slipping. A good pair of shoes or boots should protect your feet and at the same time should let them breathe.
Use of a helmet and eye protection is an added advantage to further enhance the safety of a working outfit.
3. Keep Note of Any Surrounding Hazards
Workers are exposed to many risks while roofing. It would, therefore, be important to ensure the work area is clean and well organized from any dangerous objects within the working site.
Workers need to be well informed of roof jobs that could expose them to overhead power lines, tree branches and construction materials that could become flying debris during windy conditions, which can all pose a tripping hazard.
Working during extreme conditions should be avoided as well. This is because extreme heat can lead to dehydration of the workers whereas rain and snow may increase the risk of potential falls.
4. Proper Handling of Materials
Roofing jobs have inherent risks and costs. Transporting materials to the roof entails a lot of labor work, it’s hazardous when manually carrying objects up a ladder. Bulky and heavy items increase the chances of more accidents which could eventually lead to death. It is then advisable to carry at least one bundle to avoid any accident.
Storing these materials close to the roof can save on time and energy when retrieving them especially when climbing up a ladder or walking across steep rooftops. When lifting materials use your legs rather than back to avoid causing it any damage.
During the installation of the roof, you should as well ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions as per the recommended repair materials for a specific roof type. If you not sure how to go about it contact an expert such as Roof Safety Systems SA.
5. Develop a Rooftop Rescue Plan
A rescue plan is a strategy planned in advance to safely rescue a person in case of an accident. It is necessary whenever a worker is working at a height that could cause a serious injury, as it will provide guidance in what is needed to save a person.
Having a rooftop rescue plan is important because:
1. A worker can fall sick and not necessarily fall off:
Workers become unwell or collapse when working on the roof. Knowing how to effectively carry them down the roof could save a life.
The most important aspect is preventing a fall from happening. But, should it happen, a protection rescue plan must come into effect to help the fallen worker as fast as possible.
3. Time is a key factor:
How fast you respond to emergency counts. Proper guidelines are needed to perform the proper actions as fast as possible.
Make sure you have a well-considered rescue plan in place in the event of fallout.
By keeping these safety practices in mind, you can reduce the chances of having an accident. Always practice safety as a priority when working on a roof. But this doesn’t take much to reduce your roof risk profile. Therefore, the idea is to have the right measures put in place and ensure all concerned parties do their part to eliminate the hazards.