Roofing is delicate work. Getting all the way up there to fix something is dangerous and risky, to say the least. A lot could go wrong up there from losing your footing and falling or slipping off the ladder. You could also hurt another member of the team or building occupant. You have to have your wits about you and put all the necessary measures in place to ensure safety.
1. Ladder Concern
A ladder is necessary when working on the roof. It is also one of the most dangerous implements on hand. You could fall off the ladder or the ladder could fall on a passerby. You have to maintain three points of contact at all times. That is two hands and one foot or two feet and one hand. This is to ensure quick and effective action in case you slip off. The ground on which the ladder is erected should be solid and level. If it is erected on grass, dig small holes to reduce the chance of slipping on the grass. Ensure the safety locks are engaged. If by some accident they come undone, ensure to have the ladder rise by three rungs above the roof so that you have something to hold on to.
2. Electricity Concern
Being on the roof puts you closer to the power lines. If it is too close to the lines, have the electricity company switch off the power. That also means that you cannot use a metal ladder. Get something wooden or fiberglass. Do not touch the wires with your tools or hands under any circumstances.
3. Nail Concern
Nail guns are very convenient and handy. However, they can quickly become weapons even at the hands of a mature person. Ensure the safety mechanisms are engaged at all times. Do not pull the trigger accidentally or otherwise unless the gun is pointed firmly at the work surface. Do not clean, repair or load the gun while it is still hooked up to the socket. Read the safety guidelines that come with the gun.
4. Material Concern
Roofing materials and tools will need to be hauled off the ground to the roof somehow. You may try to save on time by carrying too many things in one trip up the ladder. This will be deterrent by the three-point contact rule. It will also increase the chances of falling while you carry all those things up. Only carry enough. Or, you could build a pulley system to hoist the materials to the roof.
5. Weather Concern
The weather in some places is very mercurial. It changes from bright and sunny to dull and gray within a few minutes. Keep an eye out for weather changes. If some rain droplets fall on the roof and ladder while you are up there you could very easily slip. As soon as it looks like the weather might change, get down quickly. Better to run behind than to slip off and die or be hit by lightning.
6. Distraction Concern
Of course, the view up there is nice. Your attention could easily be pulled away by moving or colorful objects. You are able to see the beautiful new development downtown or the hot neighbor with their bikini by the pool. All of these are distractions. Peel your eyes off distractions or you will be peeled off the ground.
7. Protection Concern
Wear a hard hat. Get harnesses. Wear soft-soled shoes for better traction. Keep the area clear of tripping hazards like those extra materials you lagged up to ‘save time’. If there is high traffic, erect barricades around the feet of the ladder to keep people from tripping over it and possibly bringing the ladder down with you on it.
8. Company Concern
It might be nice to work in solitude because it is so nice and peaceful up there. But, picture this. Something happens and you injure yourself. Who will help you? Who will attend to you? Not to be morbid, but if you splatter your head all over the ground who will inform the authorities to collect the pieces of your skull?
Fear of Heights?
This should go without saying but if you have a fear of heights stay off the roof. You could get a panic attack half way up there or while you are on the roof. You would fall or have trouble coming down. Then what? However, if the fear is only mild or you have no fear at all the above tips will ensure roofing does not elicit bad memories in the future.