Safety Guidelines Every Good Roofer Always Follows
Roof safety is a critical element for every homeowner, building owner, and professional Phoenix roofing contractor to keep in mind. Between tripping risks, extreme heat, unprotected edges, steep inclines, and slippery Phoenix shingle roofing, potential hazards are everywhere. Taking the right precautions, utilizing common sense, and dressing appropriately for weather elements are some wise steps to take when preparing to do a Phoenix new roof installation or Phoenix roof repairs. Here are a few other safety guidelines to follow.
What Are the Hazards?
It is a good idea to understand what all the hazards are that you can face while on the roof. Scottsdale tile roofing is not designed for constant foot traffic, but during routine maintenance and inspections, Scottsdale roofing companies are expected to be fully comfortable and safe while working. What are the risks that workers are exposed to while on Phoenix residential roofing?
Ladders – Many commercial buildings have an interior roof access. However, some commercial buildings and most residential homes require the use of an exterior ladder to access the roof. These can quickly become unstable if not appropriately setup or tightly secured.
Egress – Workers may make it up the ladder without issue, but making it over the egress onto the roof is another story. This is especially true if the Phoenix roofing company near you utilizes scaffolding, scissor lifts, aerial work platforms, and other types of machinery to gain access to the roof for maintenance or repairs.
Skylights – While these are beautiful fixtures, they can easily give way and fall in if too much weight is placed on them. Not only does this include workers and human weight, but too much snow or ice buildup can have the same effect. Workers must also be careful not to trip on the edges.
No Edges – Any buildings with no protective edge on the roof pose a dangerous threat to workers. They can easily trip or slip and fall right over the edge to the ground, causing death or serious injury.
Debris – During windy conditions, flying tree branches, leaves, construction materials or tools, and other items can either be a tripping hazard or become flying debris and cause injury.
Heat – The temperature on a roof is almost always 10+ degrees hotter than on the ground, due to the sunlight reflected by the roofing materials. It is critical that workers stay hydrated while on the roof and to be aware if conditions are too dangerous to be on the roof.
Slippery Conditions – Weather elements such as rain, snow, and ice can make it extremely difficult to maintain steady footing on the roof, especially on those with steep pitches.
Power Lines – Any roof work that is near power lines, conduits, solar panels, or HVAC equipment, adds a new level of danger to the workers on the roof. They need to be 100% aware of their surroundings at all times.
Chemicals – Roof workers can be exposed to toxins such as asbestos, lead, bird droppings, and other hazards while working on roofs.
Injuries – Because roof work involves consistent, repetitive motions such as kneeling, lifting, standing, bending, and more, workers are at greater risk of becoming injured while working.
Along with all these hazards, utility workers and others can easily damage the roof unintentionally in many ways, including:
Dropping tools and puncturing the roof membrane
Jumping from one low ledge to another, causing crush damage to the roofing material under their feet
Dragging feet and damaging shingles
Drilling holes into the roof to install equipment, causing gradual weakness and deterioration in those areas
Creating friction between the ladder and gutters or roof materials
Simple Safety Measures
While the hazards seem overwhelming and make roof work seem impossible, there are quite a few simple safety procedures that can be implemented to greatly increase the safety of Phoenix re-roofing and repair workers. Most of them are quite affordable and last for many years without needing replacement.
One of the simplest steps is to require that all roof workers utilize appropriate protection equipment, including harnesses, weather-appropriate clothing, sunglasses, head protection, and gloves.
Adding walkway paths to a large roof is an excellent method of reducing wear and tear and damage on your roof. They can be easily welded to any roofing material, and provide a safe structure for foot traffic along with an additional layer of protection for your roof.
Consider applying safety type to mark safe walkway paths on your roof, along with signs to point out obstacles or hazards such as electric wires, skylights, steep pitches, and more. While you may have thorough knowledge of your own roof and the safest path to take, most contractors hired to work on your roof have likely never been there before and will have no familiarity with its layout.
If your home or business has an excessively high roof, adding guardrails for fall protection or rooftop anchors for harness attachment are an excellent safety step. Adding netting over skylights for extra protection is a helpful idea, and fixed ladders should be reinforced with safety cages.
Finally, be sure to have an easily accessible first aid kit in case of any injuries. Despite the best precautions, injury can still occur, so be as prepared as you can by having a fully stocked first aid kit in an obvious place. It is also necessary to have clear, thorough policies written regarding safety policies and procedures for roof safety. Make sure it is 100% clear who is allowed on the roof and under what circumstances they can be there. The clearer your guidelines are, the better protected your roof workers will be.
If you need roof repairs or maintenance performed, it is best to hire a trained professional such as Arizona Native Roofing. As licensed and insured roofing contractors, our team stays up to date on the latest safety policies and procedures, and maintains a strong reputation for excellent work at affordable prices. We work on residential and commercial roofs of all types of material, and strive to offer quality workmanship in a timely fashion. For repairs, inspection, maintenance and more, contact Arizona Native Roofing at (602) 348-6559 today!