Even if you’re not afraid of heights, a roof is no place to play. It’s dangerous being on a roof, so you should always take precautions. The following safety tips will help you stay safe while you take care of roof repairs or maintenance.
Before Getting on the Roof
Roof safety starts even before you get on the roof. Make sure there are no obstacles in the way of your ladder, and the area is clean.
Always check if the ground or pavement is wet/slippery. After you climb the ladder, check the roof to see if it is slippery before stepping on it.
It’s never a good idea to work on a roof during extreme temperatures. Shingles may not seal or lie down correctly, and they could even become damaged.
Only wear soft-soled footwear when working on the roof. This will ensure you have optimum traction.
Remember there’s always harnesses and ropes you can use as you climb and descend a roof. Roof anchors can help as well.
Toe boards and brackets provide added safety when walking on a roof, so consider using those as well.
Staying Safe on a Ladder
Most accidents happen on the ladder. Knowing how to stay safe on one can keep you from having to go to the hospital.
Before using a ladder, read the warning labels. Each ladder has specific instructions to ensure it is used properly.
Never use a ladder that is damaged. Even if the damage doesn’t seem like it would be dangerous, it’s best not to take any chances.
Remember your 3 points of contact on a ladder (two hands and a foot, and then two feet and a hand).
Keep your weight in the center of the rungs.
Never turn your back to the ladder. Always face the ladder.
All ladder accessories should be used for their intended purposes.
Ladders should be dry and have no materials on it.
Never step on the top rung of the ladder.
The ladder should be on a stable ground always.
Do not move a ladder when someone is on it.
When extending the ladder, make sure it is locked in place.
Do not reach or stretch while on the ladder.
Put a ladder away when it’s not in use.
Using Tools on the Roof
A nail gun is the most common tool used on a roof. It’s important to take proper precautions when using it.
Always test the nail gun before using it.
Place the gun down on the material you want to nail. You should never shoot nails from the gun into the material.
Maintain the nail gun properly. You should clean, inspect and lubricate it before each use.
Keep the nail gun away from your body to keep it from misfiring and hurting you.
Always unplug the nail gun when it’s not in use.
Common Sense Goes a Long Way with Roof Safety
Be careful when you work on a roof. You are not invincible. Even the best roofers sometimes have accidents and get seriously hurt. Take your time, use your best judgement, and only do what you know how to do. This will keep you safe while you repair or maintain your roof.