When your property becomes a contractor’s work site, safety becomes a top priority, and roofing safety is paramount. According to OSHA, “Falls from roofs accounted for nearly 1,200, or 34%, of the fall deaths during that period (from 2003 to 2013).” To prevent falls and other injuries, roofing contractors should incorporate safety planning into the scope of work for any roofing job.
Roofing Safety: PLAN – PROVIDE – TRAIN
OSHA summarizes its standard roofing safety practices as “PLAN – PROVIDE -TRAIN.” This means:
- Roofing companies need to “PLAN” ahead to get the job done safely: Roofing contractors need to develop a plan for each work site, ensuring that the proper equipment, material and appropriately trained workers are available. This includes knowing the pitch of the roof and following the appropriate standard for either a low slope or steep roof.
- Roofing companies must “PROVIDE” the right equipment: Roofing contractors must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the correct types of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.
- Roofing companies must “TRAIN” workers to use the equipment safely: Roofing contractors must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use of ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they will be using on the job.
Roofing Safety Practice and Equipment
The best roofing company to hire is one that focuses on safety and is aware of the following:
- Roof Integrity: Before installation, the roofing contractor must determine the overall structural integrity of the roof and take all necessary precautions to protect the workers before the job begins. If there is obvious rot or holes in the roof, the underlying structure will need to be examined. In some cases, trusses and/or decking may be need to be replaced to stabilize the roof before the roofing system can be repaired or replaced. In addition, the position and condition of skylights must be taken into account while doing the installation.
- Ladder Security & Placement: Experienced roofers will have the proper ladder lengths so that the ladders can be placed against the house at safe angles. Furthermore, they will take extra care that the footing of the ladder is secure and that the top is tied to prevent sliding or shifting.
- Safety Equipment: Other safety equipment should be used, such as temporary guardrail systems, scaffolding and personal fall arrest systems that include anchorage, harnesses and safety lines (also know as lifelines).
- Safety Practices: During the demolition phase, the roofing contractor should protect workers on the ground from falling debris by controlling how debris leaves the roof. According to OSHA, appropriate footwear is important personal protective equipment and critical during roof demolition. A nail or shingle-removal tool injury can cause a worker to lose concentration and fall. Workers should also be careful of air hoses and power cords for nail guns and other electrical equipment. If a worker steps on one, hoses and cords can slip underfoot and lead to falls.
- Proper Training: Roofing is a trained skill that requires experience to fully acquire. A good roofing contractor will ensure that all workers are fully trained in these safety practices and update their training as safety standards change and improve. This includes providing ongoing safety training specific to the work site, and general roofing safety training throughout the workers’ employment.
In addition to making sure that the roofing contractor you hire sets up and maintains a safe work site, you should also be sure that the roofing contractor shows you proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation.
The safety-trained roofing contractor will inspect and double-check the work site for potential dangers and resolve these issues before starting the job. During installation, the roofing company that properly trains its employees will demand that all roofing safety precautions be taken. After the roof is completed, all tools, nails, and debris will be properly removed to prevent injuries or damage to car tires. Roofing safety before, during and after the job protects the roofing contractors and the homeowner.
With All Weather Tite, roofing safety is the #1 priority at all work sites, and you can be sure that all safety practices will be followed at your home. Contact All Weather Tite for a free roof inspection and estimate.