One of the most dangerous jobs across the construction industry is performing work on rooftops. Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, with OSHA citing that
falls from roofs account for 34% of all fall deaths.
To protect roofers from serious injury and death, it is important to identify hazards when working on rooftops and to follow critical safety steps to control these hazards. This article covers the most common hazards for roofers and the top 10 safety
tips to follow when working on a roof.
5 Common Rooftop Safety Hazards
Below are the most common rooftop hazards that should be identified and controlled to prevent death and injury amongst roofers:
Always watch out for fall hazards when working at heights. Basic questions to ask yourself and your team should be: Is the structure strong enough to support the weight? Are there holes to watch out for? Are guardrails available for workers? Are ladders
properly placed and not defective? Use an inspection checklist to ask the right questions and assess fall hazards when working from heights.
Power tools are essential when working on rooftops. However, if improperly used at heights, power tools can inflict serious damage to workers as well as cause slips and falls. Ensure your team is properly trained to handle power tools and that they are not defective.
The construction industry is most at risk from electrical hazards, accounting for 52% of all electrical fatalities in the US workplace. Workers most at risk of electrical
hazards include those working on rooftops and near power lines. Improper handling of electrical equipment can cause massive electrical shock, burns, fires and death. Conduct regular electrical safety checks to identify and control possible causes of electrocution to prevent accidents.
Common hazardous substances when working on rooftops include exposure to asbestos, paint fumes and harmful chemicals. Check for substances that may harm workers on-site and take appropriate action including proper storage and safe handling of hazardous substances.
Whether it’s the heat of torches used for roofing or extremes in weather, workers must be protected from the dangers of extreme temperature by identifying the risks brought by equipment or current weather conditions. Have your team perform a
toolbox talk before your shift to decide whether you should commence work for the day.
It is imperative that rooftop hazards be identified to minimize the risk of accidents. You can use iAuditor’s free digital checklists to conduct your hazard identification assessments and take immediate action before accidents happen.
In addition to identifying hazards, here are some safety tips to help guide you when working on rooftops: