A metal roof will need repairs and maintenance, at least once a year. Performing roof work comes with a variety of risks. When roofers are working at such great heights, they should take extra precautions to minimize hazards. In this blog, we will discuss common roof hazards and safety protocols they should observe.

What is Roof Safety?

Roof work is considered one of the most dangerous jobs. According to OSHA, falls are the leading cause of death within the industry. Since it’s an elevated work, roof installation requires elevated safety. Roofing companies are required to follow certain procedures when installing or repairing roofs. 

Roof safety is a set of preventive measures to assure safe and healthful working conditions. By practicing roof safety, injuries and structural damage can be avoided.

Roof Safety Hazards

  • Slip and Fall Hazards
  • Unstable Ladder or Scaffolding
  • Misuse of Power Tools
  • Loose Debris
  • Trees and Power Lines
  • Electricity
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Extreme Temperatures

So, how can contractors avoid these hazards when working on your metal roof? Let’s dive into some of the most important roofing safety tips:

Work During Good Weather Conditions

The temperature and weather conditions play a crucial role when performing roof work. Ice, snow, and high winds are a few weather hazards to watch out for. Wet weather is likely to cause slips and falls or even harm equipment.

Likewise, extreme heat can pose a danger to roofing contractors. It’s no longer safe when the temperature climbs higher than 90 degrees. 

Before starting, check what the weather conditions will be. If the weather looks unfavorable, it’s better to postpone work. According to experts, the ideal temperature is around 55 degrees. There should be mild humidity, low wind speeds, and no rain.

Ladders Should Be Secured Properly

Roofing contractors use ladders almost every time. They utilize different types of ladders as part of their everyday tasks. This is why ladder safety is very important. 

Before stepping onto a ladder, roofers must check for signs of damage. Loose screws or damaged locks can affect the ladder’s stability. Never use a damaged ladder as this can be extremely dangerous. Next, place the ladder on a stable surface. It shouldn’t sink or slide when placed on the ground. You may use a stabilizer bar or tie the ladder at the top and bottom. 

Wear Personal Protective Equipment 

Wearing PPE is necessary for minimizing exposure to hazards. Roofers should always work with protective equipment, such as the following:

  • Close-toed shoes with traction
  • Hard hat
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Earplugs and earmuffs
  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Safety vests
  • Forearm guards

In addition to safety gear, they should have a fall protection system in place. This system includes tie-off safety harnesses that connect to a solid structure on the roof. Safety harnesses are designed to safeguard the user from slips and falls. They are guaranteed to protect people who work at heights. Use a safety harness and lanyard when working on your metal roof.

Use Guardrails

A temporary guardrail can be used to keep roofers safe during installations or repairs. This is a visual and physical barrier that prevents falls from heights. When installed properly, it can reduce the risk of work-related injuries and deaths.

Guardrails are applicable for large-scale commercial roof installations. Make sure the guardrail is installed at the roof edge before work begins. 

Clean Work Area

In any working environment, you should always clear away debris that could pose a tripping hazard. One random nail or tree branch can cause slips and other potential injuries. When debris is removed from your roof, the surface can be viewed and inspected for any damages. Always keep the roof clean to help lower the risk of slips and falls.

Set up a “Work in Progress” Sign

During a metal roof installation or repair, people on the ground are vulnerable to falling debris. We recommend that you close off the area around the home’s perimeter and install a work-in-progress sign. This will get everyone’s attention and inform them about potential hazards.

Reach Out to the Roofing Pros

Need metal roof services? Pittsburgh Metal Roofing can perform roof installations and repairs effectively. In every project, we ensure the safety of our staff and customers. We take pride in our expertise and experience to serve your metal roofing needs. To schedule an appointment, contact us today!