Protecting Anyone Who Goes On Your Roof: Part III

You have your plan. You provided the equipment. It’s still not time to let anyone up on the roof yet though. There may only be a few people who need to go on your roof or there may be hundreds. One things that doesn’t change is the fact they each person needs to know the plan and how to use the equipment so they can safely go on the roof.

The goal is that each person on the roof knows how to be safe and the equipment is just there as a precaution. That’s why the third step is to TRAIN.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Employers must train anyone who goes on the roof on many things, such as how to use each piece of equipment safely. It is also important to train them on how to recognize different hazards and then how to minimize them. Some common hazards that people should be trained on include:

1. Roof Stability – Is the roof strong enough to support the weight of a human?

2. Ladder Security & Placement – Is the ladder secure at a 4:1 angle, are the feet secure, the top above the roof line and tied securely?

3. Weather Conditions – Ice, snow, and wind are always a hazard on a roof if it is slippery.

4. Roof Holes – Unguarded skylights and poorly covered holes. Without fall protection, an open hole on a roof can be just as deadly as the roof edge.

5. Edge Awareness – Losing the edge of the roof can be a problem when on the roof. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their project that they forget where the roof edge is.

6. Improper Use of Fall Protection Equipment – Such as: poorly anchored railing, lanyard too long, or a week tie-off point.

7. Poor Line of Sight – Ridge vents, chimneys, shingle bundles may block egress on a roof.

Training is something that needs to be repeated constantly for everyone. Each person who goes on the roof needs to be retrained anytime the equipment changes, work conditions change, new systems are changed, or regulations are changed. This last step is the most strenuous because it needs to be repeated so much. Just remember it IS a matter of life and death.

Once again, if you have any questions about the safety of your roof or would like more resources on how to train anyone who needs to go on the roof give our roof experts a call. We have SAFELY been going onto roofs for over 35 years and have seen over 800,000 hours with no OSHA record-able injuries.

United States, Congress, “Protecting Roof Workers.” Protecting Roof Workers, OSHA, pp. 8–16.

“Top 10 Rooftop Safety Hazards.” Simplified Safety, Simplified Safety,