Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a roofing contractor with decades of experience under your toolbelt, safety should always be your number one priority. According to OSHA, more than one-third of fall deaths in residential construction are caused by falls from roofs. No job is worth serious injury or possibly losing your life over. By taking into consideration these important steps, you’ll be on the right track to ensuring a successful home improvement project.
Knowing how to properly operate your equipment is essential to ensuring your safety. Adequate time should be taken to meticulously check your ladder, tool belt, nail gun, and any other equipment and materials that you will be using. Check that all equipment is in proper working order, clean, and secured properly before beginning work. It’s also important to make sure that you’re utilizing all possible safety precautions available when taking on home roofing projects. Employ a guardrail system or a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) to avoid falls, as well as being sure to wear the appropriate clothing – including footwear, gloves, and eye protection.
The Work Area
A safe and secure work area is another important factor to consider when preparing to complete any construction project, but especially when working on a roof. Take a few minutes to ensure your ladder is placed on a clean, level surface away from anything that could cause it to tip or fall over. Make sure your work area is neatly organized, as well as blocked off from children and pets that may injure themselves. In addition, avoid working on your roof during exceedingly hot or cold weather. Not only can temperature prevent roofing materials from working correctly, it can also cause medical complications if you are exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures for extended lengths of time. Additionally, take time to inspect the structural integrity of the area you’ll be working on. Things such as dry rot in the attic or in the materials used to strengthen the structure could have been damaged or degraded over time, and while everything may look fine on the surface, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In addition to knowing your equipment, make sure you’re well acquainted with the materials you will be working with. Know what the weight limit is for your ladder, as well as for the area of the roof you will be working on. Make sure you don’t overload yourself when moving or transferring materials, that you remain balanced, and that you use your legs when lifting – not your back. Two other points to consider: tripping hazards and falling materials. Ensure any ropes, cables, and cords are appropriately marked and are easily visible and not likely to be tripped over. Also, take the safety of those on the ground into consideration when moving or placing materials that may dislodge or slip and fall off the roof, potentially striking someone standing below.
Last but not least, know when to call in a professional roofing contractor to assist with or complete your project. Professionals such as the commercial and residential roofing contractors at Model City Roofing are available to help with everything from small repairs and remodels to complete roof replacements. Contact them to schedule your free cost estimate and leave the roofing safety concerns to the pros.