There are a ton of reasons to venture up onto your roof, but none of them warrant doing it without taking proper precautions.
Almost half of all construction accidents in 2019/2020 were falls from a height.
With that in mind, here are some essential roof safety tips and advice to follow so you don’t end up as one of these statistics.
1. Don’t Go Alone
It’s never a good idea to go up on your roof by yourself. Regardless of how quick or easy the job is, you should always take someone with you in case of any accidents.
Not only will a partner be on hand to call emergency services if something goes wrong, but they are also going to double-check equipment, hold a ladder for you, and give a second opinion on the proper course of action for the work you’re there to carry out.
2. Wear Appropriate Footwear
What you wear on your feet could be the difference between grip and slip, and you do not want to slip when you’re more than 10 meters off the ground.
Wearing good quality shoes or boots with rubber soles and a deep tread will provide you with enough grip to maneuver across the shingles. Sneakers are a no-go!
3. Check Your Equipment
Regardless of what you’re there to do, always check your equipment before you go up on your roof. You don’t want to be troubleshooting a power tool problem while you’re up there.
One of the most common roof safety tips you’ll see is to check your ladder for any defects before you use it, and don’t carry any heavy or awkward loads up with you. It’s best to err on the side of caution and take multiple trips.
4. Fall Protection
There are a whole host of things that constitute a roof fall protection system, including harnesses, guide rails, anchorage, and rope systems.
Fall protection systems are there as a redundancy so that, if you do lose your grip or trip, there is equipment in place to prevent you from falling off the roof entirely.
This equipment should also be checked and double-checked.
5. Wait for Fair Weather
Perhaps the most important of the guidelines for roof safety is to never work in adverse weather conditions.
Rain, snow, high winds, even just low temperatures are all dangerous conditions for roof work.
It can be tempting to go up at the first sign of a clear day, especially if the work that needs to be done is time-sensitive, but caution is advised when assessing the weather conditions. Even if the roof is a little wet, or the temperature is a little low, slippage becomes a greater risk.
Protect Yourself with These Roof Safety Tips
Vigilance and good judgment are the best tools you can have in your toolbox when it comes to roof safety.
Remaining vigilant about the efficacy of your equipment, and having the good sense to recognize potential risks to yourself and to others will ensure you have the best chance of carrying out roof work safely.
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