Roof Safety 101

As most roofing professionals are already aware, a successful workplace safety plan is multifaceted and must address potential hazards both on the job and in the office. When it comes to roof safety, you most likely already have a solid set of policies and procedures that your team follows to ensure the well-being of everyone on the job. That being stated, the skills and knowledge regarding proper safety protocol must be practiced and tested on a somewhat regular basis to enforce lessons and maintain awareness at all times. As with anything, if a skill is not used or needed, it often becomes a weakness, leaving your team vulnerable to hazards that could have been prevented.

For this reason, Brauner Safety Services highly recommends that all contractors train and retrain their team members. From the newest person on the job to your most seasoned roofers and foremen, everyone can and will gain strength in safety through repetition and regular training.

To jumpstart your refresher and get your team focused on safety, here are a few basic tips that any roofer can follow…

Year after year, falls continue to be the leading cause of death in the construction industry. To protect roofers, contractors, subcontractors, and clients from serious injury and death, it is important to identify hazards when working on rooftops, as well as follow basic safety steps to control those hazards. Here is a quick view of some of the most common rooftop hazards that should be identified and controlled to keep your team members safe:

  1. Fall Hazards – With fall protection being at the top of OSHA’s most frequently cited standards list, it is critical that all hazards are identified and handled prior to beginning any job. Factors to consider include structural strength, holes, guardrail placement, ladder location and maintenance, quality of fall protection and safety equipment.
  2. Tools – A variety of tools are required to complete any roofing project, and the proper use, maintenance and storage of those tools is essential to maintaining a safe environment. Just one tool in the wrong place can lead to slips and falls, and defective equipment can lead to injuries to both the structure and your team.  For this reason, it is essential that you have a solid set of guidelines in place for handling equipment and power tools on the job, along with proper training on how to use them (especially torches – see
  3. Weather – From extreme heat and cold to lightning and high winds, roofers are exposed to high risks associated with weather. Something as simple as a toolbox talk before you start the day could be an easy way to address any weather-related concerns and assess if it is safe to be on the roof and how you will mitigate such hazards.
  4. PPE – Personal protective equipment is an important part of your team’s resources, and as an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that all team members have access to and are properly using PPE. Such equipment may include but is not limited to non-slip footwear, gloves, hard hat, eye protection, fall protection, hearing protection, respiratory protection, weather gear, etc.
  5. Signs – According to OSHA, there are three types of safety signs—danger signs, warning signs, and caution signs. It is important to have all appropriate signs placed where and when necessary.
  6. Cleanliness – All it takes is a single misplaced nail or small tool to cause a slip on the roof. It is vital that your team makes a conscious effort to keep the roof clean and free of items that can cause accidents or materials that can obstruct or limit visibility of the roof.
  7. Guardrails – In addition to the use of guardrails for fall protection, skylights and other openings should be properly guarded and labeled with visible warning signs to prevent falls. Safety equipment such as Safety Rail Company’s skylight guards, screens and barriers can offer additional protection for skylights.

While it would take well more than a single blog post to cover everything you need to know about roofing safety, the above listed areas provide a good place to start for thinking about and developing your safety plan. Brauner Safety Services can help take the guesswork out of creating a safety plan and training your team. In just one click, you can book a consultation where Brauner Safety Services will create a customized roadmap for your team’s safety and success on the job. To learn more and reserve a training or book a consultation, contact Jim Brauner today!


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