Research conducted in the construction industry reveals a shocking statistic of the number of fatalities that result from roof falls.
A study conducted in the USA in 2014 revealed that approximately 40% of deaths that occurred in the construction industry were from roof falls.
Working on steep roofs has proven to be a risky occupation that many people shun away from. However, the leading cause of these deaths is the lack of adequate safety precautions while walking on sharply angled roofs.
How to Walk on a Steep Roof | A Safety Considerations While Walking on Steep Roofs
The article will expound on some of the tips and considerations that will guide you on how to walk on a steep roof like an expert without risking a fall.
Brief Summary of Roof Steepness
Steepness is a term that is used to denote the slope of a roof or the measure of how a roof is angled. A 12:12 roof is said to be steep while a 4:12 roof is gently angled and is not very steep.
Although the definition of roof steepness can vary from one person to another, it is vital to understand that walking on a steep roof without considering the following tips can be disastrous.
Safety Considerations While Walking On Steep Roofs
1. Wear Safety Equipment
It goes without saying that the highest percentage of roof fall fatalities result from overlooking safety considerations. One vital safety gear is the safety harness.
The harness serves to keep you on the roof in case you slip.
As a result, your safety will be guaranteed even if an accident happens as you walk on a sharply angled roof.
2. Remove Debris From the Roof
Leaves and sticks which accumulate on roofs always become slippery when wet. As a result, they can be potential dangers that can make you slip as you walk on a steep roof.
Therefore, to minimize the chances of accidents, you should remove all of them to make your walking path clear and safe. Consequently, it will be possible for you to maneuver a steep roof with ease.
3. Put on Safety Boots That Have Tough Rubber Soles
Rubber has a long history of making exceptional soles that offer maximum traction with the ground.
It is advisable that you wear roofing boots which will create maximum friction between you and the roof surface to minimize your chances of sliding and falling.
4. Remove Algae and Moss That Could Make You Trip
While walking on a steep roof, try as much as possible to avoid moss and algae. These plants become slippery when rained on and can significantly reduce the traction of your safety boots. When the friction drops, falling off the steep roof takes a second.
Eliminating these plants as you walk on steep roofs can be a real life-saver.
5. Avoid Walking on Steep Roofs Containing Snow/Dew
Undoubtedly, a significant number of roof falls fatalities have been associated with the accumulation of snow on roofs.
Walking on snowy roofs is a dangerous endeavor. Snow frequently cracks and breaks. You should, therefore, wait for the snow to completely melt before you start walking on the steep roof.
Alternatively, if the snow is not too much, you can remove the pieces of ice that lie on your path.
As has been noted from the above points, safety should always be given priority while planning to walk and work on a steep roof. Even more, putting the above tips on how to walk on a steep roof to work is critical in assuring you of a safe walk on the steep roof if need be.