Roofers have a rate of illnesses and injuries that is well above the national average; it is also one of the highest rates of all the construction trades. Every year, several dozen workers die as a result of falls from or through rooftops. However, there are numerous safety precautions that homeowners can take to avoid potential accidents when accessing or working on the roof.
1. Make sure that weather conditions are suitable. Wet roofs can be extremely slippery. If it has recently rained or ice is present, it is best to be extra careful or delay the task, if possible.
2. Balance is an important quality for a roofing professional. If you are subject to any condition that can make you dizzy or light-headed, you might want to avoid going onto your roof.
3. Always use fall-protection equipment. The most commonly used safety equipment used by roofers are fall-restraint and fall-arrest systems. Both types of systems need to be attached to anchors that are secure. The primary difference between the two is whether they prevent falls or stop your fall before you impact the surface. Typically, workers wear a full body harness that is then attached to the anchor with a lanyard. Some roofers also install guardrails around the edges of the roof or open skylights.
4. One of the leading causes of falls involves the placement and security of the ladder used to access the roof. For every 48 inches of ladder height, the base of the ladder should be 12 inches from the wall. Thus, if you have an 8-foot ladder, the base of the ladder should be two feet from the wall. The base should rest on a level, dry surface, and the ladder’s top should be pinned securely to the roof.
5. It is extremely important to remain aware at all times of where the edge of the roof is. Sometimes, people can become so focused on their tasks that they lose track of where the roof ends. If their vision is obstructed by bundles of shingles, chimneys or vents, the loss of edge awareness can be exacerbated.
6. Not every roof has the strength to support your weight. Rotted decking, broken trusses or cracked rafters can lead to a “fall through.” Professional roofers know how to determine whether a roof is strong enough, but it can be a difficult determination for the average homeowner.
7. Some types of roofs present greater risks. For example, it is much easier to fall from a roof with a steep pitch, and split-level roofs often have unprotected sides.
As you can see, you are taking some serious risks when you decide to climb onto your roof. Another type of risk that you are taking is that many materials, if not installed correctly, can lead to leaks or a voided manufacturer’s warranty.
You can avoid all of the risks by engaging the professionals at Alpha Roofing Industries. We have almost four decades of experience providing a wide range of roof-related services to customers in Austin as well as most other areas in Central Texas. Our dedicated, highly trained crews are committed to providing quality work at reasonable prices. Whether you need a new roof, skylight, siding or gutters installed, we can help. We also offer an extensive range of repair and maintenance services. Call us at (512) 777-1086 or submit our online form to request a free quote.