Commercial roofing can be dangerous. According to OSHA, about a third of construction fatalities are from falls from the roof. That is why safety should be any roofing contractor’s main concern.
The biggest hazard of working on a roof is obviously falling off the roof. Being several feet off the ground on a surface that isn’t designed for people to walk on freely without any fall protection is extremely hazardous. Weather conditions can obviously make a roof especially unsafe. Even things as seemingly non-threatening as frost and ponding water can make the surface slippery. Roofs on taller buildings are susceptible to strong wind gusts, making it easier for workers to lose their balance. Even if the roof surface is dry and the winds are calm, tripping or slipping can still happen. A harness or personal fall arrest (PFA) system is a common protection roofers use. Other safety items for use on flat / low-slope roofs are roof warning line systems, nets and guard rails. These safety precautions will help keep everyone on the roof secure.
Other things that might be a concern are tools and equipment. Roof installations – both residential and commercial – require the use of a lot of hand and power tools – some of them that are unique to roofing. If workers aren’t properly trained and careful when using tools on a project, they could be seriously injured or cause injury to others. To prevent accidents, all roofers should be well trained and wear protective gear that’s appropriate for the type of equipment being used.
Making sure all the proper rooftop safety precautions are being used can help prevent injuries – or worse – from happening on your roof. As a homeowner or commercial facility manager or owner, you should feel confident that the contractor you choose for your roofing project has rooftop safety training programs and procedures in place.