If your company doesn’t have a roofing safety plan, you’re at the right place.
By the end of this post you’ll have a comprehensive outline on how to go about creating your safety plan.
A report released by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in December of 2020 and it showed that the number of roofing fatalities reported in 2019 increased by a staggering 15% from 2018?
The National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries report revealed that roofers accounted for 111 of the 5,333 fatal on-the-job injuries in 2019.
This is extremely alarming, especially when you consider that the roofing industry’s death rate was already one of the highest in the country, standing at 51.5 per 100,000 in 2018.
That’s why roofing companies must take action to ensure that workers are safe on the job. Let’s look at the steps that you should take to create a roofing safety plan.
Note: If you prefer watching checkout the video below:
Steps To Create A Roofing Safety Plan
Step 1: Look For The Potential Hazards
This is the first step in creating a roofing safety plan because it helps you understand what safety risks are present in your workplace.
Once you know what hazards you are dealing with, you can then take the necessary steps to minimize or eliminate them.
For example, if you identify that working at heights is a potential hazard for your roofing company, you can then take steps to provide proper fall protection equipment to your roofers and train them on how to use it properly.
You might also implement safety protocols for how to properly set up ladders and scaffolds on job sites to prevent falls from occurring.
It’s important to take the time to properly identify potential hazards, so you can create a comprehensive safety plan that will help keep your employees safe on the job.
Roofing Hazards That Aren’t Discussed Enough
There are a few lesser-known hazards that roofing teams should be aware of.
One of them is the risk of developing skin cancer due to exposure to UV radiation. Roofers spend a lot of time working under direct sunlight, which increases their risk of developing skin cancer.
Another hazard that may not be as well-known is the risk of developing respiratory issues due to exposure to roofing materials like asbestos or fiberglass.
Roofers also need to be careful when working around power lines, as they can pose a serious electrocution risk.
Also, roofers may also face the risk of falling debris or tools from above, which can cause serious injuries. Try your best to identify and address all potential hazards in order to keep roofing teams safe on the job.
Step 2: Assess The Risks With Those Hazards
After identifying the potential hazards, the next step is to assess the risks associated with those hazards.
This involves evaluating the likelihood and severity of an incident occurring as a result of the hazard.
To assess risks practically, you can follow these steps:
- Identify who might be harmed by the hazard: Consider everyone who might come into contact with the hazard, including employees, contractors, and visitors.
- Evaluate the likelihood of harm: Consider the probability of the hazard causing harm, taking into account how often people are exposed to the hazard.
- Evaluate the severity of harm: Consider the potential consequences of the hazard, including minor injuries, major injuries, and fatalities.
- Determine risk level: Once you have evaluated the likelihood and severity of harm, determine the level of risk associated with the hazard. You can use a risk assessment matrix to help you categorize the level of risk.
For example, if the potential hazard is working at heights, you would assess the risks associated with falling from a roof.
You would identify who might be harmed (roofers, contractors, visitors), evaluate the likelihood of harm (based on how often roofers work at heights), evaluate the severity of harm (based on the potential consequences of a fall), and determine the level of risk (using a risk assessment matrix).
Roofing Safety Risk Assessment Mistakes
Some common mistakes that can be made while assessing risks include:
- Overlooking potential hazards: This can happen when risks are not fully assessed or when there is a lack of knowledge about certain hazards.
- Failing to involve workers: Workers who perform the job every day can provide valuable insight into potential risks that may be overlooked by others.
- Not considering all factors: When assessing risks, it is important to consider all factors that could contribute to an incident, such as weather conditions, equipment malfunction, and worker fatigue.
- Ignoring historical data: Previous incidents and near-misses can provide valuable information about potential risks and areas that need improvement.
- Underestimating the severity of a risk: Some risks may appear minor, but can have serious consequences if not addressed properly.
To avoid these mistakes, have a comprehensive and systematic approach to risk assessment, and to involve workers and safety professionals in the process.
Step 3: Starting Developing Safety Policies And Procedures
This step is critical in creating a roofing safety plan.
It involves creating specific policies and procedures that are designed to mitigate the risks and hazards identified in the first two steps.
To develop safety policies and procedures for a roofing company, you should consider the following:
Review The Industry Standards
Look at industry-specific guidelines and regulations, such as those set by OSHA or ANSI, to see what standards apply to roofing work. Use these guidelines to establish minimum safety requirements and best practices for your company.
Locate The Specific Hazards
Use the hazards identified in the first step to create policies and procedures that address each potential risk.
For example, you may need to create policies for working in extreme weather conditions, handling dangerous materials, and working at heights.
Get Your Employees Involved
It’s important to involve your employees in the development of safety policies and procedures.
This can include gathering feedback, asking for suggestions, and creating a culture of safety within your company.
Document Policies and Procedures
Once you have established your safety policies and procedures, document them in a formal safety plan. T
his plan should be easily accessible to all employees and include specific steps for preventing and responding to accidents and injuries.
Regularly Review And Update
Safety policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure they remain effective and relevant to your business. As your company grows and evolves, your safety plan should evolve with it.
The goal of developing safety policies and procedures is to create a safe and healthy work environment for your employees.
By establishing clear guidelines and best practices, you can help prevent accidents and injuries and promote a culture of safety within your company.
Step 4: Make Sure Your Employees Are Trained
Here are some practical steps you can take to train your roofing employees:
Start With A Safety Orientation
Every new employee should undergo an initial safety orientation, which should cover the basics of your company’s safety policies and procedures. This can be done in a classroom setting or on the job site, and should be conducted by a qualified safety professional.
Provide Job-specific Training
Your employees should receive training specific to their job duties. For example, workers who will be working on a roof should receive training on fall protection, ladder safety, and how to properly handle roofing materials.
Conduct Regular Refresher Training
Safety training is not a one-time event, it should be an ongoing process. Conduct regular refresher training to ensure that your employees are up-to-date on the latest safety procedures and techniques.
Try To Make Training Interactive
Make your training sessions interactive and engaging by incorporating hands-on exercises, group discussions, and case studies.
This will help keep your employees engaged and more likely to retain the information.
Use Visual Aids
Incorporate visual aids, such as videos, diagrams, and pictures, to help illustrate key safety concepts.
This can be especially helpful for workers who may not speak English as their primary language.
Document Every Training
Keep detailed records of all safety training sessions, including attendance and topics covered.
Safelyio toolbox talk app makes this very easy. This will help you track employee progress and ensure that everyone receives the required training.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your roofing employees receive the necessary training to work safely and effectively on the job site.
Step 5: Make Inspections A Regular Thing
Regular inspections can help identify potential hazards and risks before they become actual safety concerns, and can help ensure that safety policies and procedures are being followed by employees.
For example, for a roofing safety plan, you could conduct regular inspections of the equipment being used by employees, such as ladders, scaffolding, and safety harnesses.
You could check to ensure that these items are in good condition and properly maintained, and that they are being used correctly by employees.
You can even inspect the work area itself, checking for any potential hazards such as loose roofing materials, debris, or uneven surfaces.
When you do regular inspections, you can proactively identify any safety concerns and take steps to address them before they become serious issues.
Step 6: Give Your Roofers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
As a roofing company, there are various types of PPE that you should consider providing to your employees to help them stay safe on the job.
Examples of PPE that could be useful for a roofing team include:
- Hard hats: These protect against head injuries from falling debris or accidents that could happen on the job site.
- Safety glasses: These protect against eye injuries from flying debris or hazardous materials.
- Respirators: These protect against inhaling hazardous chemicals, fumes, or dust that could be present on a job site.
- Safety harnesses: These protect against falls from heights by keeping workers safely anchored to a secure point.
- Safety gloves: These protect hands from cuts, punctures, or chemical exposure while handling materials on the job.
It is important to train your employees on the proper use and maintenance of PPE to ensure that it is being used correctly and is effective in keeping them safe.
Step 7: Continuously Review And Train On New Safety Policies
This is part of where many roofing companies mess up.
They start off with a great safety plan but as time passes it’s no longer enforced, accidents start happening more then you get a call from OSHA.
Continuously reviewing and training on new safety policies is extremely important for keeping your employees safe and up-to-date on the latest safety protocols.
With Safelyio’s toolbox talk app, you can easily train your roofing employees on new policies and procedures, consistently throughout the whole year fully automated.
The app allows you to create and schedule toolbox talks on specific safety topics, such as fall protection, ladder safety, or roof access, and deliver them directly to your employees’ mobile devices.
This makes it easy for them to access the training materials from anywhere, whether they’re on the job site or at home.
You can ensure that everyone has received and completed the necessary training.
Plus, you can easily store and access all of your safety training records and documentation in one place, making it simple to comply with OSHA and other regulatory requirements.
By using Safelyio’s toolbox talk app, you can stay on top of your roofing company’s safety training and ensure that your employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to work safely and effectively.