If you’re in the business of rooftop maintenance, you understand the risks associated with such work. The health and safety of your workers is your responsibility as a business owner of a roofing company. How do you go about ensuring the safety of your rooftop maintenance team when they’re working at heights?
Government regulations and safety standards will help guide you when looking for ways to keep your roofing team safe at all times. There’s a lot you can do! Equipping your team with the right gear is essential as is installing safety systems such as roof walkways designed to protect those working at heights. Here’s some important guidelines to help you get it right.
4 Ways to Keep Rooftop Maintenance Workers Safe
Read on to find out what you can do to ensure your employees are safe whenever performing rooftop repairs and maintenance.
1. Understanding Height Safety Regulations
Running a roofing repairs and maintenance business requires familiarising yourself with the regulations stipulated by your local government. This way, you can ensure the health and safety of your team working at heights. Working on roofs is dangerous and control measures need to be put in place to mitigate any risks associated with this kind of work.
Your obligation is to assess the type of work being done and identify how to minimise the hazards associated with the task. Following guidelines and regulations means you’re serious about safe work at heights and you can have peace of mind your team of workers are protected from serious accidents.
2. Identifying Hazards When Working at Height
When called out to perform rooftop maintenance or repairs, it’s essential to assess the conditions under which the work will be carried out. Your risk assessment will detail what equipment and gear is required to ensure the safety of your rooftop maintenance team.
You need to look out for the following hazards before sending your team onto the roof:
- The risk of falling: Is the structure strong enough to hold your worker without the risk of them falling? You also need to identify areas such as slopes, slippery or loose roof tiles and holes that could cause your worker to fall while working at height.
- Electrical hazards: Look out for power lines that could pose a serious risk to your team if they come to close to them. If the workers need to use electrical tools to perform certain maintenance or repair work, ensure the source of electricity is safe to use.
- Weather conditions: Wet, windy, hot or icy weather is hazardous for a team working on roofs. It’s essential to ascertain the risk of working under these conditions and determine whether sending a roofing team up is a good idea or not.
By identifying potential hazards, you can minimise these risks by implementing control measures to mitigate these dangers.
3. Implementing Control Measures for Height Safety
The next step to take when completing your risk assessment is to identify and implement control measures for height safety. Regulations clearly state what should be done to protect your roofing team and some of these include:
- Using fall protection systems: This could include fall arrest systems, roof anchor points and other height safety equipment to minimise the risk of falls while performing roofing work.
- Installing height safety equipment: If you’re performing regular roofing maintenance on a particular building, it’s recommended to install equipment such as roof walkways for safe passage. Other height safety equipment could include roof access hatches and platforms.
- Wearing the right PPE: Personal protective equipment is a legal requirement for keeping your workers safe at height. This includes non-slip footwear, hard hat, gloves, eye and ear protection and all-weather gear.
4. Using the Correct Signage
Signage is vital when performing rooftop maintenance and repairs. They tell your team members and the general public that dangerous work is being performed and to keep clear of the area. Roof safety signs also warn your roofers of hazardous situations while working on the roof.
The signs are normally broken down into three categories:
- Danger: This indicates a hazardous situation that should be avoided at all costs to prevent a serious accident or injury happening.
- Caution: These warn rooftop workers of areas that may cause potential accidents if not observed closely. The areas don’t pose immediate risks but necessary control measures should be put in place to keep the worker safe.
- Warning: These signs indicate that the condition is life-threatening and ranges between dangerous and cautionary. This type of area should only be accessed by qualified and experienced team workers familiar with rooftop work.
A professional roofing company will ensure that the correct signage is put in place to keep their team safe, both on the roof and on the ground.
Roofing work is hazardous even under the best conditions. To ensure the safety of your rooftop maintenance team, you’re obligated to follow regulations and guidelines put in place by the government and industry. Installing and using the heigh safety equipment will also give your workers the protection they need. This way, you can offer professional roofing work while keeping your personnel safe at all times.
And a safe team is a happy team, which means higher productivity. Everybody wins!