Roof Safety 101: What You Should Know
Sure, your roof doesn’t look steep—from the ground—but once you climb up there, it’s an entirely different story. When taking on a do-it-yourself roofing task, keep in mind that in order to complete your roofing tasks, you must follow all of the standard roof safety protocols, or else you could find yourself on the ground again, but this time in a very bad way.
Get out your safety checklist because knowing what to do from your home’s highest heights is going to be the most important part of whatever project you’re undertaking.
Minimize Your Roofing Risks: Fast Tips
Falls obviously account for the countless serious injuries and even fatalities in roofing projects, whether at a residence or commercial facility. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers falling from roofs cause more than one-third of fall deaths in residential construction.
You may not be working for a professional roofing company, but you can certainly follow OSHA’s guidelines for minimizing your roofing risks:
- Use proper safety equipment like a roof safety harness
- Never work on a wet roof or during adverse weather
- Wear safe footwear with optimal traction for being on the roof
- Do not walk on skylights
- Avoid stepping on cords and air hoses
- Be mindful of your staging area for materials and equipment
- Block access to the roof from children and pets
- Set up and use your ladder properly
Keeping these quick tips in mind before climbing up to your roof will keep you safe from falls and subsequent injuries.
Ladder Safety is Roof Safety
Like most homeowners, you’ll likely be using a ladder to access your roof. Recognizing the importance of ladder safety and utilizing a ladder that’s in good condition is going to play a key role in your roof safety. Never underestimate the vital part your ladder plays in keeping your safe during your roofing projects.
Never use a ladder that’s damaged or one that you’ve cobbled together yourself. Use a ladder that strictly adheres to the standards set in place by the American Ladder Institute, a governing body that ensures and promotes safety in ladder products throughout the United States.
Try to use a ladder that’s made of non-conductive material like wood or fiberglass when working near wires because electricity can arc from a wire toward a ladder, even from several feet away.
When beginning to use your ladder, make sure you’re placing its feet on solid, level ground. This will avoid unsteadiness when you’re climbing it as well as the possibility of it tipping over. It’s best to lean your ladder against solid backing, and then tie your ladder at the top for optimal security by using a brace, and anchoring its base with stakes driven into the ground.
Ladder Dimensions and Climbing the Ladder
Remember to do your math when using your ladder—it should be 36-inches above the landing or roof eave to allow you to smoothly transition from the ladder to the roof’s surface, and the base of the ladder should extend 1 foot for every 4 feet of elevation. Don’t lift heavy loads of material up your ladder. This is dangerous and you can easily fall or topple over.
Consider, instead, using a ladder lift or a hoist system. Store materials close to the roof to eliminate labor and exertion in transporting the materials to the top of the house.
Finally, remember to climb your ladder appropriately and with caution. It’s one foot at a time and one rung at a time—it’s not a race! Keep at least three points of contact at all times and don’t leave it unattended, remove any ladders when you are finished with your roofing projects, even if you’ll be back at it the next day.
Your Roof Safety Equipment Checklist
Working on a roof, no matter what you’re doing, will entail utilizing a slew of safety equipment to prevent injuries from occurring. Go down your checklist to make sure you’ve got all of the necessary safety items before you begin your roofing project:
- Safety harness
- Roof anchors
- Ladder stabilizers
- Work gloves
- Safety guardrails
- Scaffolding, if necessary
- Eye protection
- Roof brackets
- Rope and netting
Don’t underestimate weather conditions when working on your roof. You don’t want to spend a day on top of your house in the hot sun because you’re putting yourself at risk of heat-related illnesses as well as UV radiation and dehydration. You also don’t want to work on a wet roof or in windy or stormy conditions.
Working on the Roof Takes Times
When working on your roof, you may be tempted to speed things up, hurry around, or try to take shortcuts to simply get the job done. Don’t. You’ll certainly thank yourself later when you don’t have any injuries from doing so!
Roof safety is about being deliberate and smart thinking in your actions, using your common sense, and taking each step with a careful measure. Taking the time to think things through will save you from a scary fall, detrimental injuries, and a mistake that could cost you your life.
Roof Replacement – Leave it to the Professionals
When it comes to roof replacement, you’ll want to hire factory trained professionals who are licensed to work on a roof. It’s a dangerous job to replace a roof on your own. That’s why it’s important to go with Feldco Roofing.
We have qualified professionals to replace your old roof with a brand new roof. With the new roof, you’ll get triple layer protection, exceptional wind resistance and stunning design that will increase your home value and curb appeal tremendously. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.