Workforce
Safety

Expert Tips on Height Safety for Roof Workers

Incidents due to working at height are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and injuries.
By Andy Graham
November 7, 2022
Topics
Workforce
Safety

Without the correct safety measures in place, working at height can be dangerous. In fact, accidents from height are one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and injuries.

Plan Effectively

Clear plans should be in place before any at-height work takes place and risk assessments should be carried out to identify potential hazards.

Following the assessment, measures should be implemented to protect everyone who could be at risk in the area (collective protection), along with measures to protect the individual (personal protection).

These should include setting out exclusion zones along with installing mesh on scaffolding to prevent materials from falling and causing injury to people below. Suitable storage for loose materials should also be in place.

It’s vital that before any work is carried out, a full emergency procedure is in place, and all workers are clear on processes. This should include evacuation and rescue protocols.

Correct Training

Employers should always ensure that those with experience, the correct skills and knowledge are employed to perform tasks at height. The correct training should be provided and revisited at required times to ensure continued knowledge and adherence to safety regulations.

Correct and Well-Maintained Equipment

Employers are required to provide the correct equipment appropriate for the task at hand, along with training on correct implementation and use.

Equipment, such as scaffolding, should be assembled or installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in keeping with industry guidelines. It should also not be used until it has been inspected by a qualified person who has the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge to manage health and safety.

Any equipment exposed to conditions that may cause it to deteriorate and result in a dangerous situation should be inspected at suitable intervals appropriate to the environment and use.

Supervision

Working at height can be an evolving situation, so it’s vital that the equipment and workers are monitored as the work is carried out. This will help reduce the chances of accidents occurring from distractions or equipment deterioration.

Any changes in the surroundings should be reported and acted on immediately, including monitoring the weather for changes that could compromise worker safety.

by Andy Graham
Andy Graham is Managing Director at Reece Safety, supplier of life-critical safety products. Based in Yorkshire and with 20 years of experience and as a number one lockout tagout specialist, Reece Safety is well qualified to comment on and provide expertise on a wide range of critical safety topics, such as height safety, Arc Flash and lockout tagout. Reece Safety recently introduced a new inclined roof structure into their training center.

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