Roof work is hazardous and it’s important to implement controls before and while working on a roof. Regular roof safety checks should be performed on the conditions of the worksite, equipment used and training of relevant personnel.

The following are helpful reminders to secure standards and apply the “Roofing Safety First Protocol.”

Pre-Start Checklist:

  1. Begin with describing and capturing photos of the work to be performed and of the workers on site
  2. Check permits
  3. Review weather conditions during proposed work schedule
  4. Inspect roof safety equipment
  5. Check that proper signage is posted
  6. Select Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that properly fits each employee to be exposed to safety hazards
  7. Confirm workers required to use PPE have undergone training and are informed about communication protocols
  8. Assess the condition of access, walkways and guard rails and identify unprotected sides and edges
  9. Identify wall openings and floor holes which could cause slips or fatal falls
  10. Send overall rating and recommendation to employees

PPE Video to embed:

Roofing Harness Checklist:

  1. Guarantee that roofing harnesses are in good condition before use
  2. Check the identification and intended usage of the harness
  3. Inspect each part of the harness and its connections
  4. Check the label of each to identify the type of harness, model, manufacturing details, limitations and warnings
  5. Provide an overall rating and condition of roofing harnesses

Falls from roofs, ladders, scaffolding and platforms over 10 feet in the air account for more than one in three fall deaths in the construction industry. Fall protection planning can help to eliminate the hazards or control the risks associated with working near openings or at heights. The facts show that good housekeeping can prevent falls. Good housekeeping involves providing working conditions free of known dangers, keeping floors in work areas clean, and whenever possible, dry, selecting and requiring PPE to workers at no cost to workers, and training workers about job hazards in a language they can understand.

Housekeeping Checklist:

  1. Clean all spills immediately
  2. Mark spills and wet areas
  3. Mop/sweep debris from floors
  4. Remove obstacles from walkways and always keep walkways free of clutter
  5. Secure (tack, tape, etc.) mats, rugs and carpets that do not lay flat
  6. Close file cabinet and storage drawers
  7. Cover cables that cross walkways
  8. Keep working areas and walkways well lit
  9. Replace used light bulbs and faulty switches
  10. Place mirrors at intersections with blind turns
  11. Inspect worker shoes for good traction and fit

Without good housekeeping practices, any other preventive measures such as installation of sophisticated flooring, specialty footwear or training on techniques of walking and safe falling will never be fully effective.

Height Precautions and Checklist:

Occupational health and safety laws generally require action when a worker has the potential to fall about 3 meters (10 feet). Check with your jurisdiction as exact requirements do vary. Note that most jurisdictions require the use of specific fall protection measures before, or in addition to, personal protective equipment (PPE). These measures generally include the use of some of the following:

  1. Install fixed barriers (e.g., handrails, guardrails)
  2. Inspect and install surface opening protection (e.g., covers, guardrails, etc.)
  3. Post warning barriers/control zones
  4. Install fall or travel restraint systems (i.e., a system to prevent a worker from falling from a work position, or from travelling to an unguarded edge from which the worker could fall)
  5. Install and inspect fall containment systems (e.g., safety nets)
  6. Check fall arrest systems and harnesses (i.e. a system that will stop a worker’s fall before the worker hits the surface below)
  7. Ladders and scaffolding will need extra fasteners/stabilizing attachments

Roofing always needs a “Safety First” fall protection plan. This plan will outline the policy and procedures involved in assembling, maintaining, inspecting, using, and dismantling equipment such as ladders, scaffolds, or platforms used for working at heights as well as any fall protection equipment. Fall protection plans must be specific to each site where workers are at heights. There is “no one size fits all” program. Requirements and equipment used will change from workplace to workplace, site to site, and job to job.

Record all the necessary details, instructions, communication protocols and tasks to be performed by your team. Discuss the hazards associated with work for the day and follow up on previous unresolved hazards.