18 April 2010

8 Preventive Measures in Avoiding Falls during Roof Construction

When it comes to any roof construction, fall protection systems are very crucial in order to prevent accidents or physical injuries. These safety systems include standard precautionary measures such as assessing and identifying possible fall hazards, ensuring ladder safety, providing and wearing of personal protective equipments, installing an edge protection system, using safety nets, using of catch platforms when working on the roof’s edges, practicing good housekeeping, and suspending work on bad weather.

After several years of being exposed to various elements such as rain, strong winds, or snow, roofs eventually wear out which generally results to leaking problems. The best solution for these problems would be hiring a roofing contractor to do the job. But as a home owner, it is very vital that you only hire roofing contractors who have with them a fall protection plan. This plan should include the following:

Assessing and identifying possible fall hazards

This is the first step that every contractor should do in preventing falls and other accidents. Every area of work should be assessed thoroughly so that potential hazards can be identified. After identifying, they should be rectified accordingly with measures that could eliminate or avoid them.

Ensuring ladder safety

Ladders can also lead to accidents if not used properly. Ladders to be used should be inspected regularly for any damage or loose parts. It should also be positioned on solid ground, should be well-stabilized, and erected at the correct angle. Ladders should only be used for access or short work durations and never as a working platform.

Providing and wearing of personal protective equipments

Each worker should be dressed with personal protective equipments such as proper footwear, clothing, harness, snap hooks, karabiners, and so on. These equipments are actually very helpful in ensuring worker safety in work areas on the roof like the proper footwear to prevent slipping or the harness to prevent from falling.

Installing an edge protection system

An edge protection system consists of guard railings. They prevent workers from falling in case of slipping. They are securely placed on the edge of the roof and are often times attached to scaffoldings.

Using safety nets

Safety nets are often installed when edge protection systems like railings are not present, but it is best tied to work platforms and scaffoldings. They are usually installed before any construction work is done. It is hung close to the work area and should be suspended that nothing comes in contact underneath it.
It is never advised to do any welding or cutting jobs above the nets because this can cause deterioration of its material.

Using of catch platforms when working on the roof’s edges

Catch platforms or working platforms consists of scaffolding components placed just below and close to the work area. They should be utilized when working on roof edges and on long working durations.  Catch platforms should have the capacity to carry huge amounts of loads.

Practicing good housekeeping

Many slipping hazards or accidents are mostly caused by an unorganized and dirty working area. Thus, good housekeeping should be practiced before, during and at the end of each working day. Equipments should be placed in the right storage boxes and litter should be thrown away accordingly.

Suspending work on bad weather

When bad weather conditions such as strong winds, rain, and snow occurs, it is advisable that work should be suspended and resumed when weather is accident-free and conducive for work.

The safety and welfare of every worker is also a concern for every home owner. They could be held liable for damages when accident or any fatalities occur. It is always a wise choice that home owners should hire roofing contractors with fall protection systems. At least, they could be at ease of each worker’s safety every working day.

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