Reducing Falls During Residential Construction: Roof Repair
Roofers typically work at heights that put them at risk for falls. Workers making roof repairs face the same hazards, but they can be at increased risk if the roof shows signs of lost integrity or if they are uncertain how to use fall protection on a roof that is already weatherproofed. The employer shall provide a training program for each worker who might be exposed to fall hazards. The program shall enable each worker to recognize the hazards of falling and shall train each worker in the procedures to be followed in order to minimize these hazards. For fall protection training requirements, refer to 29 CFR 1926.503. In all cases, employers must evaluate the hazards and take measures to reduce the risk of falls. For patching and repair jobs, roofers have several options, including scaffolding, aerial lifts and various types of conventional fall protection. The best choice depends on where the repair is needed and on the type of building.
At the Roof’s Edge Access from stable platforms: When the damaged section of roof is along an edge, a roofer can work from a scaffold or aerial lift. Regardless of the condition of the roof, this equipment provides safe, stable work platforms from which the worker can reach the area to be repaired.
At the Roof’s Edge Access from Scaffolds: When properly constructed and used, external scaffolds can provide suitable protection for roof repairs along the edge of the roof. Pumpjack scaffolds offer a secure platform from which to work and can be raised and lowered for specific tasks, such as working from underneath the eaves. Guardrails installed along the open side of the scaffold provide fall protection.
Working Higher Up on the Roof Scaffolds: When working farther up on the roof and beyond arm’s reach, scaffolds can still provide fall protection if they are properly constructed. The top rail may have to extend higher than 45 inches above the roof surface to adequately protect workers from falls.
Guard against falls through skylights or other roof openings. Use a guardrail system, PFAS or protective cover that will support two times the weight of a worker.
• If necessary to protect workers below from falling debris, set up a work zone while roofers remove old roofing materials from the repair area.
• Workers should be careful of air hoses and power cords for nail guns and other electrical equipment. If a worker steps on one, hoses and cords can slip underfoot and lead to falls.
• Remember to place any removed shingles or replacement tiles in a safe location. If unsecured, these materials can visually blend in against the roof and create a dangerous trip hazard.
• New materials staged on the roof should be placed so that they are safe and secure.
For more information, visit: https://www.osha.gov/doc/topics/residentialprotection/index.html