Working on fragile roofs can obviously throw up a whole host of health and safety challenges, and there is no doubt that all of these need to be mitigated against as much as possible. No matter how short the duration of time that the work is taking place, there is certainly the sense that proper precautions need to be taken. Suitable equipment can obviously go a long way towards preventing any potential issues from occurring. As well as this, anyone who is working with fragile roofs needs to have enough information offered, on top of all the proper training and supervision. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the main options that you have in front of you when it comes to working on a fragile roof and preventing falls from height and fatal falls.
Avoid Working at Height Where Possible
Obviously, the risk of falling is going to be mitigated by avoiding working at heights. Prevent falls by using a working platform and providing safe access from below. You should also think about who is offered roof access and should ensure that no untrained personnel are going to be allowed up there.
Offer Proper Training and Protective Equipment
There is no doubt that anybody who is going to be working at height needs to have the proper training offered to them, as well as relying on personal fall arrest systems. Fall protection can include proper guard rails, and personal protective equipment should be provided and worn at all times.
Assess the Potential Risks
As with any working environment that has the potential to be unsafe, there is no doubt that assessing the risks should be done at a very early stage. You need to look closely at where any fall hazards may occur on fragile roof systems, as well as inspect the roof surfaces to ensure that there is no potential for slips and trips to happen unnecessarily.
Create a Stable Working Environment
The board walk and other working platforms need to have a high level of stability to ensure that there are not going to be any unnecessary risks here for anyone who is going to be carrying out the work. High risk situations certainly need to be cut back on in any way possible. Support battens can go such a long way towards preventing injuries and death from occurring. There are also certain sections and areas, such as roof lights with covers and valley gutters, that can help to prevent access to the more fragile sections where hazards are most likely to occur. If any of these are not possible, it is also worth exploring the possibility of installing safety nets underneath the roof if you are going to work at height. Alternatively, a harness system can be put in place, but proper training needs to be provided.
Working on a fragile roof needs to be treated with the utmost seriousness and care, and these are just a few of the best ways of ensuring that this is the case and no accidents occur in the workplace.
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