DIYs & How-To's

Don’t Avoid Old Roofs – Be Safe When Working on Them!

The major source of accidents in the United States is when people are above ground level working at heights. Working on a roofing system is very risky especially if the structure is old. It is of paramount importance for personnel working on old decking to be conscious of such safety concerns. Old structures are brittle and can easily shatter. One false step in the wrong direction could result in a fall. In addition, the degree of inclination, loose material, and unstable surfaces will also heighten any accompanying risks. When considering a roofing project, safety guidelines should be given high consideration; otherwise, it would be wise to contact a roofer for professional assistance.

Here are few guidelines that are essential when working with old roofs:

  • Safety Compliance – Before climbing on top of a roof, ensure that compliance to codes and regulations is followed. This would include such things as the use of harnesses, edge protection, personal protective equipment, etc.
  • Inspect – Examine the condition of the entire system. Carefully check any area that appears fragile and unable to support the weight.
  • Pitch – Check the degree of inclination (pitch). Steeper roofs should be given extra precautionary measures.
  • Access – Determine thoroughly any possible access to the roof. Basically, an entry point should be strong enough to support supplies and materials as well as the worker.
  • Ladder – When utilizing a ladder, ensure correct usage.
  • Gutter Guard – Use gutter guards to enhance ladder safety
  • Shoes – Wear rubber-soled shoes to provide better traction.
  • Tool Handling – Secure all tools and materials that will be placed on the roof. This is to prevent all of it from falling and hurting someone on the ground.
  • Fall Protection System – Always utilize a fall protection system for an old roof to mitigate the risk.
  • Training – Untrained personnel and those who lack knowledge about roofing should not be allowed to work on any roof.
  • Governmental Regulations – Determine all applicable governmental safety guidelines and rules. It is essential to know and abide by these regulations.
  • Wet Weather – Don’t climb during wet weather conditions. Dew and rain increase the risk of workers slipping while on the roof.
  • Common Sense – Using common sense is a must. Safety programs and regulations cannot provide adequate protection without using common sense.

Importance of Safety Guidelines

Measures when working at heights should not be taken for granted. Many workers are seriously injured or killed because of acts of negligence or from not following certain guidelines. Annually, there are approximately 37 roofers out of 100,000 killed due to overconfidence about or ignorance of safety principles. Falling is a major problem in the construction industry more than anything else. In reality, working on a roof is very risky because anything can happen. Whatever roofing project may be, it is essential to take precautionary measures to mitigate any potential injuries or fatalities.

Indeed, it is very dangerous to step on an old roofing structure. One false step could lead to property damage or injury. At no time should wood decks that are too old be stepped upon or walked over due to the fragility of the system. Besides, if safety is compromised then the productivity level could significantly decrease.

When replacement or repairs are needed on a roofing structure, it is important to put safety first and adhere to these safety tips to avoid deadly accidents. Anyone lacking experience with working on old roods should see the help of a professional College Station roofer to ensure that the project is accomplished with risk!