Taking the proper safety precautions when working on roofs, or on any worksite for that matter, is extremely important when it comes to the health and safety of workers. When it comes to roofing, the added height on the job makes it that much more important to make sure all safety measures are taken. Even a fall from a single story roof can lead to serious, life-changing injuries and even death. If you are a home and business owner in the Vancouver area seeking a new roof on your property, one of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a company to hire is their safety record. An injury or fatality on a roofing job is not only a tragedy, but it can also cause major issues with potential lawsuits, insurance and liability claims, and of course the time it takes to complete the job. For these reasons, it is vital to hire a reliable roofing company that has a proven track record when it comes to following the necessary safety guidelines that prevent fatal roofing injuries.
Roof Work Safety Equipment
One way you can make sure the roofers you hire will follow proper safety procedures is to inquire about their use of safety equipment on the job. Any employer that fails to outfit their roof workers with the proper safety equipment on every job is likely not your best or safest hiring option. After all, if the company is unwilling or unprepared to provide their workers with the proper equipment for the job, can you really expect them to provide you with a quality finished product? Proper roofing safety equipment includes such items as:
- Proper footwear that is able to provide grip on a sloped roof
- Safety harnesses properly secured in case of falls
- Ladders that are tied and secured to the roof and extend 3 feet above the roof edge
- 2×6 wooden slide guards secured with roof brackets
These are just a few of the basic items which a properly equipped roofing crew should bring, regardless of the height, size or slope of the roof they’re working on.
Roof Work Safety Precautions
In addition to the proper equipment, well-trained roofing professionals will work within the following safety parameters. These precautions are in place to keep workers as well as anyone passing beneath the working area safe from potentially fatal injuries caused by slips, falls or falling tools and debris. Properly trained roofers will take the following precautions when working at any height:
- Mark the ground around the work area to keep people a safe distance from any falling debris or tools.
- Secure power and hand tools in large buckets tied securely to the roof or 2×6 slip guards
- Regularly sweep roofs to keep them free of any debris that will potentially cause slips and falls.
- Keep safety harnesses connected to properly secured lifelines at all times when working or moving on any roof above 3 metres in height
While a lot of these precautions may seem like common sense, there is a staggering number of injuries and fatalities that occur when working on heights each year. Most of which could have been avoided if proper safety measures, supervision and training is present on the job site.
For roofers and roofing companies, the consequences of failing to follow safety guidelines are quite severe. Organizations like WorkSafe BC will charge heavy fines to companies that fail to meet certain safety guidelines or provide the necessary equipment and training to workers. These fines can reach tens of thousands of dollars. Information about these incidents is available on WorkSafe BC’s website. If you would like to learn more about safety guidelines that prevent fatal roofing injuries, be sure to consult WorkSafe BC’s website, or contact the friendly Vancouver roofing experts at Coast Mountain Roof to ask about our company’s safety policies today.
Brad Gordon and his team of professionals have been installing roofing, waterproofing and architectural sheet metal systems in the Greater Vancouver area for over 20 years.