The biggest cause of fatalities on construction sites are falls. Falls from the roof account for one-third of these fatalities. Roofers come face to face with countless hazards on the job, including dangers associated with handling hazardous materials, working at heights, exposure to electricity, extreme temperatures, power tools and noise. Roofers risk serious injuries, illness from infections and even death, if these hazards are not properly managed. Employers need to prioritize the health and safety of roofers at the work site by identifying the threats common to them and taking necessary steps to address them.
- Fall Protection Training
Of course, there is a great risk of falling when you’re working 6 feet or more above ground, and this is why falls are the biggest causes of casualties and work-related injuries among roofers. Employers need to train their workers on proper fall protection techniques. In these training’s, employees are taught to recognize fall hazards and how to avoid them. How to ensure proper use and maintenance of fall protection equipment.
- Warning Lines And Safety Monitors
Roofers working on roofs with low slopes need to recognize the danger. Proper safety gear should be made available. It is the responsibility of employers to provide the necessary protection gear which include warning lines, safety net systems, guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems and safety monitors. The employees should be trained on how to use the protection systems in the correct combinations.
- Cover Openings
Skylights and other openings or weak areas on the roof should have covers to prevent roofers from falling through them. Unless these covers are strong enough to support at least double the weight of one roofer, they will not be effective in preventing falls. The covers should be doubly secured to prevent any incidence of accidental displacement. Colorcodes andmarkers should also be applied to the covers to indicate clearly where the position of the hazard is located.
- Safe Debris Disposal
The question of proper management of debris arises here also. Improperly managed debris cause trip hazards, leasing to falls. Otherwise, the debris (like shingles) lying carelessly around may itself fall and hit workers on the ground. Employers can help to minimize or completely eradicate the occurrences of carelessly tossed debris littering the work site. Contact a disposal bin rentals or mini bin rentals and ordering the right size disposal bins. This will go a long way to prevent injuries or death and also reduce the risk of damage to lawns, roads and sidewalks. Proper waste management at work sites also make the final cleanup easier and less costly.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It is not possible to eliminate all the risks associated with roofing projects. However, employees should ensure their own safety by wearing PPE. Train your employees concerning the inspection, use and care of their PPE. PPEinclude fall restraint or arrest equipment, respirators, hearing equipment etc.
Final Tip: Plan, Provide, Train
It is absolutely possible to prevent many of these accidents. Employers need only provide the necessary best practices training, proper work planning and also the right tools and equipment.