Working on a roof can be a hazardous occupation and requires the introduction of certain safety measures if the roofing workers are to be protected adequately. In this post we give a few tips on the subject of keeping safe whilst working at height.
Health and Safety Regulations demand that all roofing work is preceded by a careful plan. This plan must be based on the premise that all roofing work is potentially dangerous, regardless of how long the work is scheduled to take, and requires the taking of appropriate precautions. Roofing contractors should be properly qualified, trained and instructed on the job in hand and in using the precautions that are provided to ensure their safety. For any commercial roofing work, the roofing contractor should liaise closely with the customer in organising site safety measures. If there s any doubt that the roofers are unsure of the precautions it is a good idea to commit them to writing and distribute them among the workforce.
There are three main areas in which safety measures are most important when planning roofing works and these are as follows:-
Typically, roofing workers gain access to the roof through several avenues. These include standard access scaffolding, stair towers, stationary or movable scaffolding towers general mobile access equipment, ladders and roof hatches. Whichever of these meets the required safety standard depends on the nature, scale and extent of the roofing work and whether mobile access points are required.
The majority of accidents causing death and serious injuries occur through falls over the edge of the roof and a large percentage of these involve smaller roofing contractors working on the roof of a residential property. Falls from roof edges occur on both commercial and domestic projects and on new build and refurbishment jobs.
Therefore, the need for an effective form of roof edge protection is obvious. In the case of a sloping roof, scaffolding should be fitted to prevent workers or materials falling over the roof edge. The edges of the roof’s eaves should also be protected.
In the case of a flat roof, the risk of a fall can be easily prevented by securing straightforward edge protection measures in the form of a secure guardrail (preferably double) and a toe board around the perimeter of the roof.
If the roof is made of fragile material (and until it is proved otherwise all roofs should be assumed to be fragile) special protective measures need to be instituted. It must never be simply assumed that a sheet roof will bear the weight of a worker unless and until the roof has been thoroughly checked.
Where the roof is fragile, a platform should be installed beneath it if this is possible. Where the roof is a mix of sturdy and fragile material safety measures should involve a combination of a platform, guard rails, fall protection and safety netting. Particular care should be taken in fencing off areas of a roof that have a skylight and marking these areas with a warning sign or symbol.
Hopefully, the implementation of these simple safety measures will ensure that our South Devon and Exeter Builders and Roofers will be kept safe.
For more information regarding our roofing services Contact The Roofers SW