Whether you work on a roof or hire someone to do the job, it is important to know the basics of roofing safety. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) notes that falls are consistently the leading hazard in construction. Let’s review how these accidents can be prevented during a roofing project.

While we often associate falls happening at the perimeter of the roof, they can also occur due to things like makeshift scaffolds, skylights, and improper ladder usage. Falls can be prevented when employers follow the three OSHA fall prevention steps: Plan, Provide, and Train.

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
Employers should know what equipment may be needed to safely complete each task of the project. Think about what tasks will be involved to complete the project. Knowing this, what safety equipment might be needed?

PROVIDE the right equipment
Employers must provide the appropriate safety equipment for their employees at the job site. In roofing, this can include a Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS), such as harness. Different jobs may also require different kinds of ladders, scaffolding, or guardrail systems. All safety equipment provided should be inspected regularly and PFAS should be properly fitted.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
It’s not enough just to have the proper safety equipment if employees don’t understand how to use it. Employers must train workers to recognize hazards and properly use the equipment that they will have on the job site. Employees are responsible for following the safety guidelines they receive.

OSHA promotes a National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction. Learn more about fall prevention awareness:

www.osha.gov/stopfallsstanddown

youtu.be/ww3iTQFE2Fw

www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3252/3252.html

www.osha.gov/dte/outreach/construction/focus_four/falls/falls_ig.pdf