Safety Tips For Roofing Contractors in Australia
The safety practices advised by the Workplace Safety and Health Administration (WHS) for roofers have new regulations because of the increase in recorded deaths of workers falling from rooftops between the years 2003 and 2010. The new instruction will rescind the 1999 Interim Fall Protection Compliance Guidelines – which allows employers for residential construction to use alternative methods in fall protection – and employers must now comply with the new regulations as outlined by the Workplace Safety and Health Administration.
Please note whilst this advice in given for Australian workers, these roofing safety guidelines should be followed in all countries, please contact your local council for regulations relevant to your location.
The National Regulation states that every employee that would engage on any residential construction activities that are 6 feet or above should be protected by guardrail, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. The employer should have the appropriate fall protection plan for employees for a particular workplace situation. It is also advised to have a first aid officer available on construction sites.
Roofing is a Major Investment
Generally most new roofing or roof replacement work is not cheap. The last thing home owners want is an accident happening on their property. Profession al roofing contractors have an obligation to protect themselves and others on the property. Customers need the peace of mind knowing the company they choose to install a new roof is following all the required safety measures and guidelines as outlined by the Government. Trevor Bransden, a local roofing contractor from Pro Build Roofing Brisbane, commented “We take safety extremely seriously, before any project starts we do an audit on all workers to make sure they have the correct equipment and safety clothing with them at all times, I’ve seen roofing accidents before and it just isn’t worth the risk”. “Roofing can be a dangerous job, even small slips can mean disasters and tragic consequences for both workers and people around the area” he added. For more advice from a roofing contractor you can visit Trevor’s website.
Safety Tips for Roofing Contractors
During installation, the number one priority should be the safety of employees. Accidents will happen when employers skip planning out good safety practices and systems. No one should ever take chances when it regards the lives of people. During a roofing construction job, there are many safety issues to consider and to learn about. It is best to take the most important precautions to avoid serious injury and even death.
Always take into account the following safety tips for roofing contractors:
1. Make sure that the work area is clean and organized. The area should be isolated, children and pets should not be near the work area. Identify all of the areas to avoid, these areas are prone to danger – dangerous power lines, underground power lines and cesspools, and unsafe access to the roof.
2. Minimize the risk for falling off the roof. Other than having enough safety systems, it is also vital to account for other circumstances that may lead to slipping or falling. Keep these in mind:
a. Do not work on a wet or damp roof.
b. Dirt, tools, and debris should not be in the work area.
c. Wear soft-soled boots to provide enough or the best roof traction.
d. Wear protective gear such as helmet and harness.
3. Set up the ladder properly. Do not set up the ladder on a slope, it should be on solid and level footing to avoid serious risks. It is advisable to tie the ladder to the top and secure it with a brace. Safely climb the ladder – climb while facing the ladder and do not overload the ladder with tools. Always be attentive with the ladders and make sure that it is secure before climbing up or down. Also, keep the ladders away from power lines and electrical boxes.
4. Make sure to never touch wires with hands and/or tools. When necessary, only touch wires that are insulated.
5. Always wear eye protection when working with hammers or other power tools. Check the operation of power tools for safety and inspect before every use. Keep all of the tools clean and properly maintained.
6. Handling heavy materials may be difficult when working at rooftops, it is best to keep in mind to lift using the legs and not the back. Carry a single bundle at a time to diminish the risk of fatigues.
7. It is important to use proper tools and safety equipment during a job. Investing on the right tools and safety systems should be a priority. Following the regulations should be the minimum goal.
Safety equipment that is always necessary, but not limited to includes:
- Eye protection
- Safety netting
- Safety harness
- Roof anchors
- Ladder stabilizer
- Guard rails
- Roof brackets
- Working gloves
The safety of roofing contractors should never be taken lightly. It is best to invest on the proper safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.
Knowing how to do the job while following safety precautions and techniques ensures a trouble free project. There is no reason for serious injuries or even death.
If accidents do occur when the right safety measures are in place , generally the damage is kept to a minimum.
The above article is for reference only. To find out more about the safety for roofing professionals in Brisbane please visit the WHS Regulations By The Queensland Government