Safe roofing practices are an absolute must

If you often find yourself working on a roof of residential or commercial properties, it's imperative to understand the steps you can take to remain safe at all times.

It only takes one mistake when working at height to cause serious injury or even death.

Before you ever reach the roof, there is one thing you should be thinking about: fall protection. In other words, you want to do whatever it takes to avoid a fall from the roof. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Determine the structural integrity of the roof. Many workers have suffered an injury when the roof they were standing on fell out from underneath them. Your employer must determine the structural integrity before you, or anyone else, climbs onto the roof.
  • Watch out for skylights and other openings in the roof.
  • Beware of trip hazards, such as any tools or supplies that are on the roof while you are working.
  • Keep the people below in mind. For instance, you don't want to drop anything from the roof, as it could strike a person below, leading to a serious injury.
  • Use a personal protection system at all times, even if you don't think it's necessary.
  • Wear the right shoes, as you need to maintain good traction at all times.
  • Don't work in inclement weather, which can include rain, snow and strong winds.

These are the types of safety steps anyone can take when working on a roof. They don't guarantee your safety, but they'll definitely work in your favor.

Unfortunately, even when safety is on your mind, you could still be part of a roofing accident. If this happens, you shouldn't wait to receive medical treatment. This often means calling 911 so an ambulance arrives at the scene.

From there, make sure your employer is aware of the accident and your injuries. Once you understand your injuries and long-term prognosis, you can decide if you're in position to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.

If you're unable to return to work in the near future, this may be the best way to obtain compensation so you don't suffer too much financial damage.

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