Roofer Safety — When height is a factor on the job -roofing, construction, warehousing, window washing, etc.- keep your safety training in mind to keep yourself and others safe on the job.
Falls are often the cause of accidents and death on the job, but roofers face other dangers, as well. For example, burns can be caused by tar, or by working on hot surfaces. In fact, slips, trips, and splashes of hot tar can lead to severe burns, pain, and scarring.
While it may seem unusual for a roofer safety topic, electrocution is actually a leading cause of death for roofers and those in the construction industry. Because they are sometimes close to power lines, roofers can come in contact with an electrical line, resulting most certainly in death. It just takes one ladder to tip or fall for these accidents to occur.
Other roof-related injuries
Heat stroke, heat cramps, heat rash, and heat exhaustion are all-too-familiar to those who work outdoors and at heights. Working under the sun, and, depending on your location, humidity can cause these heat-related illnesses. You can avoid this by wearing the proper gear and drinking plenty of water.
Another common injury that you may not associate with roofing safety is puncture wounds. When you consider the different types of tools that are used in roofing jobs (roofing and knives, hammer tackers, and roofing hatchets, to name a few), you can see that there are plenty of dangers – from stepping on nails to accidental nail gun punctures, and on.
Roofer Safety – 4 Safety Tips
- Use fall protection while working at 20’ or higher (the height requirement will vary from state to state)
- Keep water accessible on the roof to limit the number of times roofers must climb up and down the ladder
- Check that protective footwear doesn’t create a slip hazard
- Never allow untrained employees to work on a rooftop.
Final thoughts: Roofer safety is an important topic to cover and it applies to other height-related jobs, as well. If you haven’t been trained, get trained. Stay alert, and, if you’re above 20′, stay connected. Keep a clean workspace and plenty of water. Hydration will help keep your body performing well. Stay safe up there!
Learn more about roofer safety from OSHA here.
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