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Fall Precautions Every Roofer Should Take

Slips, trips, and falls are deadly from heights, and roofers should take extra care the next time they shimmy up a ladder to install a new roof or re-roof a damaged structure. Roofing is one of the most dangerous jobs in America and regularly falls within the top ’20 deadliest jobs’ in the nation. The risks are real, as are these five fall precautions that roofers can follow to stay safe on the job site.

1. Determine Structural Integrity

Dry rot can make a roof structurally unsound. One misstep and a roofer can fall through the roof and onto the floor below. Similarly, loose shingles, damaged eaves, and other failed roofing elements may appear safe but can slip and detach when a roofer’s full body weight is placed upon it.

2. Install Anchorages 

Every roofer should install secure anchorages on a roof at the start of the job. When connected to roof arrest systems, these anchorages limit the potential fall to a few feet. Moreover, OSHA regulations require it when workers are operating at heights greater than 6 feet. This significantly reduces the potential for serious injuries, including traumatic brain injury, concussions, broken bones, etc.

3. Inspect Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) Before Use

The anchorage, harness, and lanyard of every PFAS should undergo a thorough inspection every time it is used. Any damaged or worn components should be promptly repaired or replaced.

4. Never Work Alone

Even the best-laid plans can fall foul of unexpected events. Lifelines can snap, materials can slip, and traction can give way. Roofers who slip and fall have a better chance of survival if someone is available to make immediate contact with first responders.

5. Maintain Roofing Tools and Equipment

Ladders, nail guns, hoses, and cords that malfunction can cause a roofer to lose their footing. As with PFAS, every tool in the roofer’s kit should undergo a thorough check before it goes up to the roof. Any damaged equipment should be left safely in the back of the truck where it can’t cause any harm.     

Contact Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover, P.C. at (303) 447-1144 for more information about fall precautions that roofers and other construction professionals in Colorado should take to keep themselves safe. We are happy to help you stay safe as you provide your services to homeowners and businesses in Boulder and along the Front Range.

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