Health and safety tips for roofers

Browns safety blog health and safety tips for roofers

Posted on 24th Aug, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham

When it comes to roofing, safety should be your number one priority. While all falls from a height can be critical, falling from a roof carries even bigger risks – with the chance of death a serious consequence of working unsafely. In today’s blog we’ll been looking at the key statistics when it comes to roof safety and offering our top safety advice on how to stay accident-free while on the job – referencing some of our key safety training.

Falls from a height are a serious issue in the construction and trade industries. A third of all reported fall-from-height incidents involve ladders and stepladders. On average this accounts for 14 deaths and 1200 major injuries to workers each year. Of course, working at roof height carries even bigger risks – with roofers accounting for 24% of the deaths and serious injuries from falls from a height in the construction industry. This is the biggest category of workers affected by far.

The risks

browns safety services blog fragile roofs featured images

There are huge number of safety hazards when it comes to working on a roof, all of which can lead to falls and accidents if not properly addressed.

These include:

  1. Falls through fragile materials
  2. Ladder security and placement
  3. Poor weather conditions
  4. Improper training
  5. Failure to use the appropriate PPE
  6. Poor line of sight

Key safety considerations for roofers

Plan your activity

Whether your work requires you to access the roof for just a few minutes, or to work on roofing for a longer period of time, it’s essential to plan all elements. All parties should also be made aware of the plans to make sure the work is carried out safely.

It is also worth refreshing your knowledge of how to work safely at a height with our training course, which you can find out more about here. The course covers the planning process, as well as risk assessments, hazards and appropriate PPE equipment.

Carry out a risk assessment

If it’s decided that it’s absolutely vital to carry out work at a height, conduct a risk assessment to identify possible problems and how to rectify them. A risk assessment will also allow you to identify the best equipment for the job and ways in which you can avoid falls.

Wear the appropriate PPE equipment correctly

Not only is it essential to wear PPE equipment, it’s also essential that it’s fitted correctly. For example, when wearing a harness, make sure the lanyard is the right length. Wearing PPE alone will not protect you if it’s worn incorrectly.

Ensure proper ladder use

One of the deadliest hazards when working from a roof is a poorly placed ladder. The ladder should be placed one foot away from the wall for every four foot of the ladder’s length. It should also be securely pinned to the roof.

Keep your mind on the job

Just because you’ve set everything up safely, doesn’t mean all the usual health and safety protocols should go out the window. Keep your eyes on the area you’re working on to prevent slips or trips

For more information on our Working at Heights training course, or any of the safety training courses we have on offer, get in touch with the Browns Ladders team. You can contact us today on 01282 615517

Do you have any more tips to ensure roof safety? If so, leave your words of wisdom in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders

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