Roofing Safety Programs to Avoid Accidents on the Job

On July 26, 2016 by Josh

Every roofing contractor knows how important safety is. This is perhaps why it is essential to be very careful when working on different job-sites. It is important that the workforce is properly skilled and knows how to finish the work without making any accidents but it is also the authority’s responsibility to ensure these workers’ safety. They must take the right precautionary measures to help protect themselves and rest of the team from any big hazards associated with their business, which in this case is falling.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration 1926.501 publication is an effective guideline which has been tailored for all the workers who face risk of falling. Directions have been provided to protect against fall. Methods include use of various personal protective equipment, safety nets or guard rails. Another great protective measure is having a personal fall arrest system if the job-site is 6 feet or above the ground level. This basically includes employees working on any roof.

Even with protections, it is ideal to provide proper training in installation and repair of roofs as this can protect employees. The risk increases when workers fail to follow the safety fall protection system. Some of the common risks and hazard most of these employees face in such jobs have been stated below:

  • Steeply leaning designs

  • Slippery roofs because of rain, snow, dew, sleet or other reasons

  • Wearing leather-soled boots during work as they have less grip

  • Buildup of loose slates and shingles

  • Personal negligence

  • Difficult or dangerous access

  • Failure to use the right safety fall equipment

All of these factors have the potential to cause serious consequences if disregarded. The outcome may be severe injury or even death. This is why it is essential to keep safety as top priority and take required protective measures.

Some Ideal Precautionary Measures

Importance of precautionary measures cannot be ignored when working on these risky structures. Every roofing contractor should have their own guidelines, policies and programs to highlight workplace safety concerns. The aim is to maintain a fall-free work environment. For this, each and every worker is expected to use personal protective equipment such as a harness.

Common safety measures require workers to understand all local safety codes, be educated and know how to recognize potential hazards and follow local guidelines. They should assess and be acquainted with the areas around the building for power lines and also be able to assess the degree of inclination. Extra precautions must be taken when working on steeply designed roofs. Employees should use ladders made of fiber glass instead of aluminum as it helps avoid electrocution. Wearing the right clothes to work is also quite important.

One of the best precautionary methods is installing freestanding guardrail system that does not penetrate the roof membrane. These reduce falling hazards and basically eliminate the need to use and manage individual protection devices. This is ideal for companies who wish to save money as this effectively reduces expense on personal safety equipment. These flexible and modular systems adapt to your needs as they are compatible with each type of flat roofs and offer partial to full protection.

Each work place has its own unique safety requirements. So, it is recommended to properly assess what nature of protection you need before investing on the plan. Developing an effective safety program requires a lot of effort, time and money. However, it is vital as lives of many people depend on it. In fact, failure to have a roofing safety program can lead to loss of lives and thus heavy compensations.

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