The 10 biggest roof safety hazards

  1. Roof Stability – Is the roof strong enough to support the weight of a human. Are the trusses intact? Will the roof bow on a hot day? Check the underlayment before going onto the roof.
  2. Ladder Security & Placement – Is the ladder secure and at a 4:1 angle, are the feet secure, the top above the roofline and tied securely. A number of fatalities occur each year because of a poorly placed ladder.
  3. Weather Conditions – Ice, snow, and wind are always a hazard on a roof if the shingles or other surfaces are slippery. Membrane roofs are especially slippery in wet conditions and should be avoided under these circumstances.
  4. Roof Holes – Unguarded skylights and poorly covered holes. Without fall protection, an open hole on a roof can be just as deadly as the roof edge.
  5. Edge Awareness – Losing the edge of the roof can be a problem when you are engaged in roof work. Some employees get so wrapped up in their project that they forget where the roof edge is.
  6. Improper Training – If there is someone on the roof who has not been properly trained, they are a rooftop safety hazard and could cause serious injury to themselves or others.
  7. Improper Use of Fall Protection Equipment – Such as: poorly anchored railing, lanyard too long, or weak tie-off point.
  8. Poor Line of Sight – Ridge vents, chimneys, shingle bundles may block egress on a roof.
  9. Pitch – The steeper the roof is, the easier the fall. Ensure that the fall protection and shingle bundles are secure before setting foot on the roof.
  10. Split Level Roofs & Fall Heights – Employees engaged in roofing activities on low-slope and split-level roofs with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 meters) or more above lower levels should have the proper fall protection equipment.
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