Falls are the biggest cause of fatalities in the construction industry, with falls from roofs accounting for about one-third of these falls. Roofers encounter numerous hazards on the job, including those associated with handling hazardous substances, working at heights, electricity, extreme temperatures, power tools, and noise. Without proper management of these hazards, roofers risk serious injuries, illness, and even death. To keep roofers safe at the work site, employers need to identify any threats and take the necessary steps to address them.
Fall Protection Training
Working six feet or more from the ground places roofers at great risk falling, which explains why falls are the biggest cause of work-related injuries and deaths among roofers. With proper fall protection training, employees will be better able to recognize fall hazards and avoid them, and ensure proper use and maintenance of fall protection equipment.
Warning Lines and Safety Monitors
Roofing activities on low-slope roofs are very dangerous, especially in the absence of proper safety gear. Employers should provide the necessary protection gear, including warning line systems, safety net systems, guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, and safety monitoring systems, and provide training for roofers on how to use them in the right combination.
Covers can protect roofers from falling through skylights and other openings or weak areas on roofs. In order to be effective, these covers must be strong enough to support at least double the weight of a roofer, be well secured to prevent accidental displacement, and be colour coded or clearly marked to show the position of the hazard.
Safe Debris Disposal
If debris is not managed properly, it can pose a trip hazard, lead to falls, or fall and hit workers on the ground. In order to minimize the risk of having debris, such as shingles and other materials, lying around, employers should consider renting a disposal bin. It will reduce the risk of damage to lawns, sidewalks, and roads, and prevent injuries. Additionally, proper waste disposal makes cleanup more efficient after completing the project.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
While it is not possible to eliminate all the risks associated with roofing projects, employees can improve their safety by wearing appropriate PPE. Moreover, roofers should be trained in the care, inspection, and use of necessary PPE, such as hearing protection, respirators, fall restraint or arrest equipment, etc.
Final Tip: Plan, Provide, Train
Many accidents can be prevented by providing employee training on best practises, proper work planning, and providing the right tools and equipment.