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6 hazards associated with rooftop safety

01 February 2017

This is one of the few aspects of constructional work that is potentially life threatening. A lot of us simply shrug off the hazards, but being constantly aware of them at all times while on the job is the smart thing to do. When it comes to this sort of work, even the tiniest snag could have far-reaching consequences as many of us know too well.

After all, roofs are not at all meant for foot traffic on a constant basis plus workers have to take extra care to tread lightly at all times, which is a safety measure often forgotten in the confusion of daily work. Here are a few of the main hazards :-

 

  • Ladders: This is sometimes one of the most common and deadliest of the hazards - an improperly placed ladder. More than often this is usually due to the fact that the top of the ladder is not secured to the roof or that the angle of the ladder itself is wrong. Enough records are there to show that the maximum number of casualties every year across the world are mainly due to this hazard.
  • Roof Holes: These can also be quite the hazard as a result of sheer carelessness with regard to no efforts to install proper fall prevention. Even skylights fall into this category. That along with the fact that if the hole is wide enough and open, it would be no different if you plummeted from the edge of the roof itself.
  • Weather Conditions: Depending on which part of the world you’re in, it could be ice, rain, snow, wind or excessive heat. The heat factor might lead to severe dehydration since it is on the roof after all, whereas the other elements of nature tend to make it difficult to maintain a firm grip. In the case of anything between ice and wind, you could very easily lose your footing as the roof is anyway rather flimsy by itself.
  • Loose Debris: Tools, tree branches and even the construction material itself can pose a tripping hazard as they most of the times tend to be strewn all over with no tendency for any order or systematic placement. In windy conditions, the potential danger of this hazard becomes tenfold as the wind, if strong enough can cause a mini-hurricane of flying debris.
  • Electrical Accidents: You will have to be extra careful near power lines of any sort plus open wiring as well. As all of us know, water and electricity are quite the lethal combination so if the roof happens to be touching a nearby power line and it's raining, it would be better to call off the construction work till the time it stops raining.
  • Regular stress and injuries: Even if all the safety measures have been thoroughly assessed and taken care of, the fact of the matter still remains that it’s extremely tiring work. Just standing for long, climbing ladders all day and lifting heavy materials can cause immense strain throughout the day leading to injuries if adequate breaks are not taken. So ultimately, all of that needs to be taken into consideration as well.

 

Regarding overall safety, it is vital that all the workers not only possess each and every bit of the necessary equipment, but also learn the proper implementation of these tools in a life-threatening scenario. After all, mere knowledge of the basics without any expertise or practical application is of no use, especially when it comes down to basic safety for one's life. Impromptu drills and constant revision on the functioning of the tools at hand are most certainly a must.

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