Roofing brings with it many familiar construction risks at a greater degree since you will be working at a height. This makes the proper fall protection more important than ever before to reduce the risk of injury and death on the job. Even experienced roofers are susceptible to unpredictable roofing hazards that could cause a serious fall.
Common Roofing Hazards
- High winds
- Loose shingles
- Uneven sheathing
- Slick surfaces
In many cases, a residential or commercial roofing accident may be simply unavoidable. Working on a roof is a dangerous, precarious task that has resulted in more injuries and deaths in the construction sector due to falls over any other project type.
Safety Risk Factors
As you work on your roof, keep in mind the following risk factors that could contribute to a serious accident:
- Moisture: Recent or current rain, sleet, or snow could cause a roof to become slippery and difficult to navigate.
- Pitch: The steeper the pitch of a roof, the harder it will be to maintain your balance with level footing.
- Sawdust: If sawdust or debris has accumulated during roof construction, it can also cause a roof to become slippery with the potential for a fall.
- Footwear: Wearing the proper footwear on a roof is a must to provide good traction to hold your footing.
- Tripping: It’s easy to make a simple mistake on a roof, like tripping over a tool or electrical cord, that could result in a nasty fall.
Additional Roofing Hazards
Finally, consider the possibility for other on-the-job injuries beyond an ordinary fall from a roof. If you are working with advanced tools when roofing, like torches or welding instruments, you could be at risk for burns, heat, and overexertion in a roofing project.
When working with high-risk heating tools on a roof, it is critical to wear flame-resistant, light-colored clothing with cuffs and long sleeves to protect against burns.
High collars are recommended to protect the face, neck, and ears. Side-shielded safety glasses, goggles, and/or face shields can be used to protect the eyes from a more serious injury. A respiratory mask is also helpful to protect against fume inhalation when working with a substance like tar.
When using highly flammable tools and materials, it’s always recommended to have a fire extinguisher on hand to protect a roof structure from damage. Professional roofing companies will have all fire protection safety materials necessary on a job of this kind; DIY contractors should take the same precautions.
Before beginning your next project, make sure to check out these no-brainer safety guidelines to avoid common roofing hazards and reduce the risk of on-the-job injury.