There is an increased focus on health and safety at work, with construction considered one of the most dangerous industries to work in. In 2016 – 2017, 137 workers were killed at work and an estimated 609,000 workers suffered non-fatal injuries. Almost half of the fatal injuries over the last five years were accounted for by just two different accident kinds – falls from a height and being struck by a moving vehicle.
A high-risk job, working as a roofer is inherently hazardous. It’s an occupation that involves working at height daily, sometimes at several storeys high. Not surprisingly, health and safety has become a key focus within the industry, facing regular reforms.
Site inspections are becoming increasingly common for roofing companies. On-site, the regulator monitors the following:
Many companies have hit the headlines recently for the wrong reasons, breaching important health and safety regulations, such as working without appropriate scaffolding and exposing employees to the risk of falls. In addition, some companies have been found to be risking the safety of passers-by when it comes to falling materials.
There is a lot to consider when working at height especially as a roofing contractor. Different types of roofs require different safety criteria, these include:
Working on flat roofs
When working on flat roofs the risks can be high, people can fall:
Temporary edge protection should be used during most work on flat roofs unless the roof parapet provides adequate safety and any openings should be securely covered.
Working on sloping roofs
On sloping roofs most problems occur when people fall:
Full edge protection should be used when working on sloping roof. If contractors are working within two metres of gable ends then edge protection will be used there as well as at the eaves.
Work on industrial roofs involves a number of roofing health and safety hazards such as falls:
Safety nets and edge protection are the preferred solutions in these situations.
Roof work is a high-risk activity because it involves working at height, sometimes with fragile material, such as roof lights and asbestos cement roofing sheets. Health and safety are not just important for the roofers themselves but also for other people on site who may be demolishing, maintaining or inspecting buildings. High health and safety standards are essential in roofing – because of the variety of work involved the nature of the safety precautions can be different from one job to the next.
Ploughcroft is pleased to announce that recent health and safety spot checks by an independent inspection officer were passed with flying colours.