Working on a roof is one of the most dangerous jobs there is. In the construction industry, falls are the number one cause of death. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, falls from roofs count for 34% of all deaths caused by falls. So one of the most important things for roofers to think about is safety. There’s a reason why the saying “safety first” has become a cliché.
So how can roofers ensure that they are always putting safety first? Here are seven safety tips that will help:
1. Wear appropriate shoes and clothing.
You want to wear comfortable clothing that will move with your body, but you also want to wear sensible clothing and shoes. Obviously, soft-soled work boots or closed-toed shoes are the best idea. Shoes that will give you a good grip on different surfaces are a good idea as well. And you’ll want to wear leather gloves to protect your hands.
2. Utilize safety ropes.
If you’re working on a roof, you should always use safety ropes and safety harnesses. This way, you can be sure that if you slip, you won’t fall off the roof with no protection.
3. Check for hazardous substances.
Whether it’s paint fumes, asbestos, or harmful chemicals, roofers are at risk of being exposed to harmful substances. Be aware of this, and take the proper precautions like wearing a mask if necessary.
4. Secure any ladders.
Take the time to ensure your ladder is on a stable, level surface. You may even want to keep your ladders in place by weighing them down with sandbags.
5. Organize and clean as you go.
Keeping your work area neat and clean will help you to ensure you don’t slip on trash or extra nails and tiles. It’s relatively easy to simply clean as you work and keep your work organized and neat.
6. Don’t work during wet conditions.
Rain and wet conditions can cause the roof to be slippery, creating a hazardous environment. Don’t risk working in these conditions. It isn’t worth it.
7. Consider adding netting and/or guardrails for extra safety.
If you are working on a steeply pitched roof, you may want to add extra safety support. Some projects may even require scaffolding.
Roofing is hard work but extremely valuable and rewarding. All you need to do is ensure that you are safely working. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be sure to always put safety first. You don’t want to become another statistic.