The New England construction season is in full swing and that means lots of people on rooftops installing new roofs or making repairs. To comply with your insurance requirements and more importantly to keep your workers safe, keep these roofing safety tips in mind:
- Check the area for hazards.
Point out all power lines above and keep workers clear of them. Remember that electricity can arc from a line to a ladder even if the ladder is several feet away from it. Ask the property owner about underground hazards like cesspools, soft spots and buried power lines. Call the power company to have them cut power to a line if necessary.
- Protect against falls.
Figures from Professional Roofing Magazine indicate that an average of six roofers die every month in falls. To keep the people in your crew safe, keep the work area clean of dirt and debris. Keep tools put away to avoid tripping. Never work on wet roofs.
- Practice good ladder safety.
Always use OSHA-approved ladders on job sites. Replace ladders that have been damaged. Set up the ladder on secure ground and avoid slopes that can cause the ladder to slip. When climbing, always face the ladder, climb just one rung at a time and never overload the ladder. Never push a ladder closer to gain a bit of extra height. This can make them unstable and increase your risk of falling.
- Use tools safely.
If you are using pneumatic nail guns on the job site, always engage the safety when not in use. Keep your nail gun well lubricated to avoid misfires. Never rest the nail gun against your body, as you can accidentally cause the gun to fire. Wear eye protection when using any kind of hammer or nail gun. When using utility knives, replace blades often so that they stay sharp, as a dull blade can slip and cut you. Always cut away from your body to avoid injuries.
By keeping up with the best safety practices at every roofing job site, you can significantly cut the rate of injuries to your workers. Not only is this good for the people you work with, it is also good for your pocket. Lower injury counts mean better insurance rates. Train all employees well to cut down on costs and make a safer workplace for everyone.