17 Jan Top 9 Tips For Making Roof Access Safe For Your Employees
Everybody knows that safety is paramount and should always be taken seriously. When it comes to working at heights, this is even more imperative. Roof access systems help to keep your employees and everybody in the area safe, but they’re just one piece of the puzzle. You should always have roof access systems in place when working at heights, but there are many other things you can add to them for the best safety system possible.
This article illustrates the top 9 tips for making roof access safe for your employees and why this is so important. For personalised advice or a free quote, contact our team at AHSS today.
Working at heights is a high-risk activity, and therefore employers should utilise every possible action to mitigate these risks. Some safety tips include:
1. Proper Use Of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Proper training should always include how to properly use personal protective equipment (PPE) so that if there is an incident, precautions are already in place to minimise harm. Make sure that your employees wear the correct PPE for the task that they’re doing, such as wearing the correct harness or lanyard. Regularly inspect PPE to ensure it’s in good condition and able to do what it needs to do and that it is comfortable, easily adjustable, and fully functional. You should also make sure that every user is trained to use the PPE that they need. PPE you and your team may need can include:
- Safety shoes
- Safety harnesses
2. Using The Correct Equipment
Roof access systems require a lot of equipment to both do the job well and to keep everybody safe. The equipment itself may differ from job to job and depending on if it’s a one-off or a more permanent job. Equipment may include:
3. Keeping The Area Clean
Removing any hazards before starting work is key to minimising risk. Clutter, unnecessary tools, and other items are all potential hazards and should be removed from the working area. This includes removing any debris, unnecessary roof materials, scattered nails, and so on.
4. Utilising The Buddy System
Two heads are better than one when it comes to solving problems, and working at heights always has the potential to become a problem. Even if the job is the most minor work possible, it always pays to send an additional person as a ‘spotter’. This can also cut down on working time as buddying up provides an extra set of eyes and hands, in addition to providing an extra safety measure should an incident occur.
5. Communicating Well
When people talk about how important communication is, they don’t just mean in your personal relationships. When using the buddy system or working in a large crew, a quick check-in can make all the difference. On small-scale projects, the worker on the roof needs to be able to communicate with somebody below, and on bigger projects, this is even more paramount. A radio or phone can suffice for this.
6. Applying Access Rules
Access needs to be orderly and well-thought-out, with workers following all precautions. This isn’t the time to wing it, so ensure your employees are familiar with the access rules such as:
- Informing the supervisor when going onto the roof
- Knowing specific times employees are allowed on roofs
- The procedures that need to be followed when accessing a roof
- The safety checklist
- The sign-on register with roof permit system
7. Employing The 2m Rule
The 2m rule stipulates that employees should not work 2 metres from the edge of a roof at any time (unless a roof safety rail system is in place). This is for everybody’s safety, including those on the ground as well as those on the roof, so this can’t be taken lightly. If it helps, you may wish to mark the ‘out of bounds’ area to ensure compliance.
8. Having A Fall Protection Plan
Having a fall protection plan is not just required by law, but it’s also the mark of a caring employer who values their employees highly. A fall protection plan requires a contractor to perform risk analysis and fence off or barricade potential hazards such as unprotected openings, hatchways, and potential falling dangers. They should also check the roof for its load-bearing capacity and any wear and tear.
9. Remaining Up-To-Date With Legislation
Anybody familiar with working at heights will know that it’s a legal requirement to be up-to-date with legislation and ensure you adhere to the current legislation. Familiarise yourself and your employees with this information regularly. All roofing employees need to undergo basic safety measure training to minimise health and safety risks and to be eligible to perform the necessary work. This is something you would have supplied already, but refresher courses are always a good idea.
Looking For Industry Leaders In Height Safety Systems?
If you and/or your employees work at heights, having safe roof access is both a legal requirement and a moral obligation. At AHSS, we take our dedication to safety seriously and exceed the Australian Safety Standards to mitigate potential risks as much as possible. To learn more about height safety from AHSS, contact us for a free quote today.