Roofing Safety: Fall Protection Tips Equipter Roofing contractors should be able to focus solely on their jobs – not stress about their safety. But when it comes to installing a new roof, one wrong step could be a matter of life and death. All roofing company owners need to make sure their roofers are protected on the job, especially when working on steep slope roofs with little traction. These fall protection tips can help keep job sites safer for roofing crews and reduce the risk of workers’ compensation claims.
Invest in Fall Protection Training
The sooner the job gets done, the sooner the crew can move on to the next. But without the right safety precautions, you risk increased downtime from losing crew members to what could be fatal accidents. In the construction and roofing industries, OSHA requires fall protection for individuals working at elevations of 6 feet or more. OSHA also requires employers to provide training for all employees who may be around fall hazards. Crew members must go through fall protection training, including how to use the protection system(s) chosen by your company, before they begin the job. Roofers should also know standard emergency procedures as well as each person’s responsibility according to company policy.
Make the Crew Aware of All Roof Damage
Wood rot from water damage or mold can pose a severe safety risk. To avoid slipping or falling through a damaged roof, crew members need to be informed of any and all damage. Consider having your foreman review the results of each initial roof inspection with the crew prior to the start of any project. Make sure they know all the danger zones before they even climb the ladder.
Secure All Roofing Tools
Pry bars, shovels and other roofing tools must be secured when not in use. Trying to catch bumped tools as they slide down the roof can lead to devastating falls. For tools that may not fit in a tool belt, consider using rope or bungee cords to secure the tools to a tie-off system and keep them out of the way. Some contractors even store their hand tools in 5-gallon buckets that hang from roofing brackets to avoid getting weighed down by heavy tool belts and keep the smaller tools out of the way.
Store Extension Ladders and Other Tools Indoors
Even when using shoes designed for roofing, slippery extension ladders and scaffolding increase the chance of losing balance. Storing this type of equipment out of
the elements will prevent dew or frost from forming on the rungs, better protecting roofers when they use it again on the next job. Make sure the company’s roofing tools are checked and cleaned regularly to keep them functioning properly. This also helps prevent production delays – nobody wants to climb a ladder caked in dirt or work with a splintered tear-off shovel.
Utilize Smarter Roofing Equipment
Technology is always changing. Provide your hardworking crew with tools that streamline efficiency and virtually eliminate cleanup so they can complete each job sooner without sacrificing quality. One piece of equipment especially useful to roofers is the Equipter RB4000. This drivable dumpster reduces the risk of falling off a ladder by cutting the number of trips crew members make on and off the roof all day. The RB4000 features a hydraulic lift that raises materials and tools up to 12 feet, right to the eave of the roof and, after unloading it, crew members can shovel between 12 and 15 square of tear-off debris right into its 4.1-cubic yard container. Roofing fall protection practices should be implemented all year long. Any new employee should undergo fall protection training before stepping foot on a roof, regardless of his or her experience level. Share your roofing fall protection plan with all workers so they know the company’s policies, including what to do if someone falls on the job. Have the job foreman or safety coordinator review this plan with their team regularly. FRM Equipter, LLC, was founded in 2004 by former Lancaster County, PA, roofer Aaron Beiler. The company offers an array of drivable debris management equipment for roofers across the country, increasing professionalism one roof at a time. For more information, visit www.equipter.com or call 717-661-3591. www.floridaroof.com | FLORIDA ROOFING