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Single unit (monolithic) roofing materials applied to flat roofs may seem “safer” to some roofing installers, but the work is always at height and subject to many similar hazards and the same safety requirements applicable to the job on sloping ceilings. Good fall protection measures, personal protective equipment (PPE), and adherence to safe work practices can protect workers from fall hazards.

If you want to provide your workers with a feeling of safety when they are working at heights, here at Gold Coast Edge we make sure your house is safe for you and your family by hiring experts in the area such as Gold Coast Edge Protection.

Roof installers who install, maintain, or repair flat roofs with heights greater than 20 feet or using machinery that must be pulled in reverse, such as felt applicators, need to use fall protection. Fall protection measures may include one or more of the following:

  • Personal Fall Protection
  • Fall Platforms
  • Scaffold Platforms
  • Standard Handrails and Skirtings Eave Barriers
  • 24 Inch Height Parapets

When the above fall protection measures are not used, the edges of the flat roof should be marked with courses of materials and warning lines to notify workers of potential fall hazard areas using the following guidelines:

  • Place material courses (sheets of roofing material or other materials) not less than 5 feet from the roof edges and parallel to the roofline.
  • Install warning lines no less than 5 feet from the edges of the roof and up to a height of 34 to 45 inches.
  • Place warning lines and courses of material around the perimeter of the roof.
  • If warning lines and courses of material are used only in the work area, move them as the work on the roof progresses to provide a permanent warning to workers.
  • Connect the material handling areas, storage areas and access routes on the roof, leaving a clear access route consisting of two (2) warning lines.

When an access route is not in use, traverse a rope, cable, or chain of equal resistance to that of the warning line to block entry to the access route from the work area.

Warning lines have specific requirements that include:

  • The material of the warning lines may be ropes, wires, or the like with a tensile strength of not less than 500 pounds.
  • Mark the warning lines with flags of highly visible material, placed every 6 feet away.
  • To secure warning lines, use sturdy fixed or portable supports designed to minimize overturning or displacement.
  • Attach and temper warning lines to each bracket so that they do not slide or create slack between the supports when pulling on them.

The above fall protection measures are necessary for workers operating felt installation machines (or other equipment that must be pulled in reverse) regardless of possible fall height. An exception to these measurements is that the parapet is at least 36 inches tall and is perpendicular to the direction of travel. When these fall protection measures are not installed:

  • Place material courses no less than 10 feet, and warning lines no less than 5 feet from the edge of the roof on a path perpendicular to the direction of travel.
  • If conditions prohibit the use of courses of material, move the warning lines no less than 10 feet from the edges of the roof on a path perpendicular to the direction of travel.
  • Never operate equipment that must be pulled in reverse in areas located less than 3 feet from the edge of the roof.
  • Do not store motorized equipment with an operator seat between the warning line and the roof.
  • Train all workers on the use of the warning line and material course system. Instruct workers to work within protected areas. Warning lines and courses of materials may not be practical for working on the roof edge, narrow ceilings, or unusual shaped ceilings. In these cases, a qualified person should closely supervise the work on the roof.

Roofing is a dangerous job; Don’t rely on or ignore the dangers of working on flat roofs, even though they may seem safer to you. Follow the safety guidelines outlined in this document to avoid potentially dangerous or fatal falls when working on flat roofs.

The above evaluations and / or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.

Know the slope of your roof

How steep is your roof? Keep in mind that the steeper the roof, the easier it will be to fall off. Also, you cannot change the slope of your roof, so you need to make sure that the person on the roof has the necessary safety equipment. Examine the slope of your roof and take appropriate measurements for steeper slopes. Also, make sure the shingle packages are safe and not the ones that will move once you step on them.

Two-tier roof security

Do you have a two-tier ceiling? Does the roof have unprotected sides? Is the distance between the edges and the lower levels more than two meters? If so, you must ensure that any worker who climbs those roofs has the appropriate protective equipment due to the high impact caused when that person falls.

Blind spot

Another danger posed when you’re on the roof is poor line of sight. The employee up there may not be able to see what is on the other end of the roof, which can cause an accident if the worker reaches the other end only to know that he was not insured. So if your roof has chimneys, ridge vents, or tile beams that will make the person not see the entire roof, make sure they can at least tell you what’s on the other side.

After you have examined the risks presented to you while on the roof, it is essential that you take protective measures to ensure that you do not fall victim to such dangers. Also, make sure your workers know how to use personal protective equipment, as it can save many lives by taking them to training.

Take safety as a priority and make sure your house is safe for you and your family by hiring experts in the area such as Gold Coast Edge Protection. Here all your priorities will be considered, and we will ensure keeping hassle to the lowest level possible.