White Elastomeric Coating System – Allied Universal Palmetto FL

Roof Safety Checklist

If you hire a professional and reputable roofing company to inspect, repair, or replace your roof, you can be assured that they will follow all necessary safety precautions. Commercial roofers are required to follow strict safety guidelines, but they are not the only people who may be on the roof. Air conditioning vendors, maintenance personnel, and even prospective buyers may have a need to walk up on the roof. This article will outline safety guidelines for those people who must be on the roof but may not be as familiar with the process as a professional roofer.

  • Make sure the roof can support your weight: Anyone who must walk up on the roof needs to determine whether the surface under their feet can support not only their body weight but the weight of any necessary tools and materials for the job at hand. Professional roofers with experience know to inspect the inside of the building first. They will look for any signs that the deck may be damaged or compromised by water damage or rust. They will also assess the integrity of the roof surface before bringing all their materials and team members to the roof.
  • Take measures to prevent slips and falls: The most common category of workplace injuries is that of slips and falls, especially in commercial or industrial settings. Slipping or falling off a roof, however, elevates the potential severity of the injury due to the height involved. Workers must be sure to properly affix ladders and follow all rules associated with ladder safety at all times. This includes maintaining three-point contact and moving slowly to prevent mistakes. Storms that leave water on the roof and create wet conditions can exacerbate the danger.
  • Be deliberate about transporting tools: All personnel accessing the roof should carry tools in a belt or backpack and not attempt to carry their tools in their hands while climbing a ladder. Hands should always remain free to steady oneself or hold onto railings or guardrails until properly protected by a fall arrest system.
  • Be aware of skylights and penetrations: Approximately 30 percent of roofing-related fatalities take place when an individual falls through a skylight. Those features are not designed to support the weight of a human and, therefore, should never be stood on. Identify and barricade these areas of the roof when anyone is going to be on the roof, as accidents involving skylights often take place when someone is backing up or walking backward. If the skylight is flush with a roof that has been recoated, it may not stand out from the roof surface – making it virtually undetectable to someone walking on the roof and creating a safety hazard.
  • Rules are different on pitched roofs:  While state regulations may vary, generally, anyone working on a pitched roof or within 10 feet of the perimeter must be correctly tied off with the appropriate equipment or alternatively be protected as described in OSHA’s Fall Prevention Standard, 29 CFR 1926 Subpart M.
  • Be aware of climate and weather conditions: Roofing materials often retain heat, making the roof temperature much more intense than the outside temperature – especially during a heat wave. Anyone spending time on the roof must remain hydrated, take breaks in the shade, and wear appropriate clothing. If the roof has a white coating, people may find it blinding on a sunny day, making UV protection eyewear a necessity. This will allow people on the roof to maintain adequate visibility in order to know where they are walking and maintain safety.Property owners should be aware that anytime someone walks on the roof of the building, they are contributing to wear and tear – but perhaps more importantly, they are vulnerable to risk and exposing owners to liability. Owners and managers should limit roof access as much as possible and ask a roofing contractor to help them establish a safe and well-marked path for people to follow.

    Unicoat Industrial Roofing is a professional roofing contractor with over 75 years of collective hands-on experience in commercial and industrial roof coating applications.

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