Roofing contractors have a very dangerous job. Installing skylights, decking, climbing ladders, constructing perimeter walls, and physical exposure to other natural elements increases the risk of serious injuries. In fact, a study by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), found that falls are the leading cause of death in the roofing business, so it’s essential for roofing contractors to make safety a top priority on job sites.
In this post, we’ll discuss in detail what risks roofing contractors face and what they can do to prevent them.
Risks that Roofing Contractors Face
We all know that roofs aren’t meant for constant foot traffic, but regular maintenance and repairs require workers to walk on the roof and inspect it. This puts roofers at an increased risk of falling so being aware of potential hazards is a good place to start.
The following are the most common risks roofing contractors face and how to prevent them:
- Weather Conditions
Roof shingles can become slippery due to rain or snow, which makes it difficult to maintain footing and makes falling more likely. In addition to slippery surfaces, strong winds can also increase the risk of falling off a roof. Therefore, work should always be postponed until the weather conditions have improved.
- Unstable Ladders
For roofing contractors, ladders are an essential tool, but If they’re are not secured or properly tied to the roof, someone could easily fall off leading to devastating injuries and property damage. Take time to make sure that the ladder you use is placed on a leveled and stable surface. You can use sandbags to weigh them down and keep them in place.
- Improper Training
The training provided to roofers before they start their jobs is essential, as it will teach your employees basic safety procedures that will keep a job running smoothly. The National Roofing Contractors Association offers both online and in-person training courses that will keep your team safe.
- Loose Debris
Construction material, tree branches, and leaves on the roof can become a major tripping hazard, and if it’s windy these items could become airborne knocking down equipment and workers. Therefore, debris should always be cleared from the roof before a project begins.
- Improper Use Of Equipment
Roofers should always work with safety equipment, but if the equipment is not used correctly, it’s essentially useless. Some common equipment mistakes include: the tie-off point being too weak and keeping the lanyard too long. Roofers need to make sure they’re properly using their safety harnesses and ropes so that even if there’s a risk of slipping or falling, you’ll be protected.
- Holes In The Roof
Roofing contractors should check the roof thoroughly for holes or covered up skylights before starting their work. If not checked properly, falling through the hole may cause serious bodily injury. Luckily this risk can be easily avoided by being cautious and taking all the preventive measures.
Improper clothing- make sure you are wearing appropriate clothes that will help you to move around easily. Avoid wearing anything tight and uncomfortable. shoes should be closed-toed with soft soles, and have a firm grip on the surface. Leather gloves should be worn to protect your hands from injuries.
Insurance for Roofing Contractors
As roofers are exposed to hazardous working conditions such as falls, bodily injuries, and a collapsing roof, roofing contractors need to have insurance to protect themselves and their company from financial losses. Here are a few roofing contractor insurance policies you should consider:
General Liability - Contractors liability insurance provides coverage if the actions of roofing contractors or their employees cause injury to a third-party or lead to property damage on the customer’s site.
Workers Compensation - This type of insurance provides coverage to employees who get injured or become sick while working and are therefore unable to return to work.
Professional Liability - This insurance coverage is different from general contractors insurance. It is designed for roofing contractors who offer consultation services to their clients and suggest products or treatments to them. It protects roofing contractors from any legal claims arising from the situation when their suggestions result in loss or injury to the customer.
Commercial Auto - If roofing contractors use trucks or other vehicles to carry equipment to the job site, they will need commercial auto insurance to protect themselves from any expenses or damage that may arise when auto accidents happen.
At any time of the year, staying safe while repairing roofs should be a company’s top priority. To protect themselves from any damage, the roofing company should follow the above safety tips to eliminate hazards and ensure the safety of its workers.