Working on a roof can be dangerous, so it is usually best to leave it to the professionals. However, if you are planning a roofing project there are safety hazards you should be aware of. Keep reading to learn more about these safety hazards and how to protect yourself and others while doing work on the roof.
Stay Aware of the Edge
It is very important to be aware of the roof edge at all times. An unprotected edge, which means there is no guardrail, is especially dangerous. Fall prevention measures like guardrails can help keep workers safe. Harnesses, no-slip footwear, hardhats, and wet-weather gear are all good ideas to help prevent falling and injury.
Make Sure the Roof is Stable
The first thing you should do before starting work on the roof is to check the roof to make sure it is stable. Homeowners should periodically check the roof for damages, anyway. Look for any visible damage and double-check for things like mold, pest infestations, or water damage. If you find any damage, it is best to call a professional to repair it before continuing with your project.
Incorrect Ladder Placement
Ladder injuries are extremely common in the United States for roofers. Be as safe as possible when using a ladder. There is always a risk of falling and injury any time you use a ladder. Make sure to take all the necessary precautions. Place the ladder correctly by making sure the ground is firm and flat. Avoid putting the ladder in front of a door; if someone opens the door or walks through the doorway it could overturn the ladder and you with it.
Check Steepness of the Roof
The steepness of a roof is known as the pitch. It is important for safety to be aware of the pitch of a roof before working on it. The steeper the pitch is, the easier it will be to fall and hurt yourself. Make sure to keep shingles safely bound. Falling shingles pose a safety hazard to anyone on the ground.
Make Sure Holes are Covered
If you are working on a roof that has holes, such as holes for skylights, you must be cautious. Skylights and other holes in the roof can be very dangerous and pose a significant chance of injury if you were to fall through. Skylights should always be covered with a plastic or fiberglass cover. Most covers are thin, however, and you should do your best to avoid falling onto them.
One of the main things that can make working on a roof dangerous is adverse weather. Always check the weather forecast before starting work on a roofing project. If a roof becomes wet from rain, it will be much easier for you to fall and slip. If it has been retained, or if it is going to rain, you may want to postpone the start of your project.
Also avoid working on a roof if there are high winds, or chances of tornadoes, hurricanes, or thunderstorms. You may think it is safe to try to work if the weather doesn’t look bad yet, but the weather can change quickly and suddenly. Use the weather forecast to your advantage and plan your roofing project for a time when the weather will be fair.