When working on a rooftop, the major risk that faces every worker is the danger of falling from such heights. However, you can reduce such risks if you have an idea of dangers that lie on the rooftop. So, let’s have a brief discussion of what every roofer should do to remain safe on the roof.
How stable is your roof? This is the first point to check when planning to repair or replace the roof. After all, you do not want to step on it and fall because it’s weak. So, check on the trusses and ensure that they are strong enough to support your weight. Also, check on the underlayment to ensure that it is not broken before setting foot on the roof.
The second and most crucial thing to consider is the security and placement of your ladder. Here, you will want to check all the steps and ensure that they are securely fixed. Apart from that, you will want to make sure that you place the ladder at the right angle. It shouldn’t be too steep, you should feel comfortable stepping on it. Check the angle of your ladder to ensure that you can remain stable. What’s more is that it should be secured and tied securely so it won’t fall. The steps of the ladder should not be slippery while the ground surface should be rough to keep it in intact.
Do you have skylights on the roof you are just about to get onto? More than that, are there holes, and are they marked and adequately covered? Ensure that the skylights are properly guarded and that the holes covered, before you go up there. If they are not, deal with those first so that you can at least reduce the risks of falling in.
The weather in your location has a lot to do with how safe you can remain while on the rooftop. In San Diego, there is no snow or ice, but there is the wind, or rain. Make sure that you do not get to the roof while it is raining since the roof can get slippery. Also, do not repair your roof while it is extremely windy, as you or the roof can be blown away.
Improper use of the roof fall protection equipment
You have gotten fall arrest products, a dead weight anchor, horizontal lifeline systems, Kee Walks, railing systems among other equipment to protect you once you happen to slip. However, how do you use this equipment? Note that a poorly anchored railing system or a lanyard that is too long is just like not having these devices. So, ensure that apart from getting the roof fall protection gear, you can also use them correctly for you to remain safe at all times.
Is the worker supposed to clean the drains, repair or replace the roof, or service your HVAC properly trained? Note that you should not only consider the training of your repairman but all individuals who will access the rooftop. Ensure that such persons have what it takes to remain safe while up there. They should also have an idea of what to do in case of any problems.
Edge security and awareness
Note that there are those workers who get so caught up in their duties while on the roof to a point where they forget the position of the roof edges. So, make sure that there are at least guardrails or safety lines to remind the roofer about the edges. Also, ensure that the roofer knows about all the edges on the roof, even those that connect one roof to another just to be safe.
Know the pitch of your roof
How steep is your roof? Note that the steeper the roof, the easier it is to fall. Also, you cannot change the steepness of your roof, which is why you should ensure that the person on the roof has the necessary safety gear. Examine the slope of your roof and take appropriate measures for steeper slopes. Also, ensure that the shingle bundles are secure and not those that will move once you set foot on them.
Split level roofs safety
Do you have a split level roof? Does the roof feature unprotected sides? Is the distance between the edges and lower levels more than two meters? If so, then you need to ensure that any worker who gets on such roofs has proper protective gear due to the high impact caused when such a person happens to fall.
Distracted line of sight
Another hazard posed when on the rooftop is a poor line of view. The employee up there may not be able to see what lies on the other end of the roof, which can cause an accident if the worker happens to get to the other end only to learn that it was not secured. So, if your roof bears chimneys, ridge vents, or shingle bundles that will make the person not to see the entire roof, ensure that you can at least tell him what lies on the other side.
Having had a look at the risks that you are introduced to while on the rooftop, it is essential that you take protective measures to ensure that you are not a victim of such dangers. Also, ensure that your workers know how to use personal protective equipment, as you can save lots of lives by taking them for training.