For most roofing contractors, safety is a top priority. There are many simple, safety procedures that are easily set in place and followed to keep the roofers – and their clients – safe from injnury and liability.
The Danger of Falling
Falling from a roof, scaffolding, or other high object is one of the most common causes of workplace injury or death. In a professional environment, mandatory OSHA compliance has drastically reduced the risks attached to repairing or replacing a roofing system.
Unfortunately, many homeowners who prefer doing their own roof maintenance work lack both the training and equipment necessary to reduce the risk of falls and serious injury or death. A tiny misstep can spell out disaster to your health, safety, and your loved ones.
Ask Your Contractor
When hiring any roofing contractor, it is important to ask them about the safety procedures their workers use while they are on your roof. A lack of safety precautions can spell out disaster for the roofing company and for your liability as a homeowner.
Before hiring a contractor, inquire into their safety methods:
- Do they have an understanding of the safety rules and procedures and are they followed by all workers?
- Florida roofers also face hazards from high heat and humidity and sun exposure. Dehydration and other heat-related illnesses can lead to fatigue and increase the risks of serious injury. Have they been given adequate information on proper hydration?
- Are they properly licensed/insured?
- Does the company have a proven safety reputation?
- Do the contractors make use of all safety equipment?
- Are the roofers committed to continuous on-the-job training?
OSHA has rules and regulations in place for the safety of anyone working higher than 6 feet off the ground. On any project where there is an unprotected edge or window that is more than 6 feet above the next level, a personal fall arrest system, guardrail, safety harness, or safety net should be in place. It is absolutely necessary that any roofer follow these steps to minimize the risks of slipping and falling and staying safe on the roof:
- Respect the pitch of the roof. The steeper its slope, the harder it is to maintain your footing.
- Wear soft-soled shoes with good traction or with reliable rubber soles.
- Never work on a wet roof!
- Make sure the ladder is positioned correctly and secured to the roof and that the correct ladder is being used.
- Clear the work area of any unneeded materials and debris.
- Pay attention to anything that could be a tripping hazard – bundles of shingles, electric cords, tools, etc.
- Keep a low center of gravity as much as possible.
- Avoid heat-related illnesses and injury by staying properly hydrated.
- Enforce company safety rules and regulations.
Training employees on proper roofing safety, the right equipment to use and also following and observing OSHA’s safety regulations can help avoid unsafe situations and reduce injuries or even death on any construction/roofing job.
Professional Attention to Your Roof
At Imperial Roofing, our project manager will identify the work-site danger areas, such as power lines, a steeply pitched roof, and unsafe roof access areas like eaves, the projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof, or having to climb out of a second story window.
For help with your next roofing project with a company you can trust, contact Imperial Roofing Contractor. We service the roof repair and replacement needs of Land O Lakes, Tampa and the surrounding area.
Originally published: Oct 10, 2013
Information updated: August 10, 2015