Roof work is an essential service that carries certain risks. Every year, thousands of roofers fall from heights and suffer injuries when repairing, maintaining, and installing roofs and other equipment. Anytime you are up on a roof, whether that is or a few minutes or hours, you need to take proper precautions and use the appropriate roof work safety equipment to control the risk and severity of potential falls. We say control here for a reason, as danger is always close by and you can never mitigate all risks.
The biggest cause of roofing injuries is slipping or falling from roof edges and openings because there are no guardrails. Another real threat is stepping on a fragile surface, like a rotting roof or brittle skylight that cannot support the roofer’s weight.
To prevent these accidents, all roof workers must undergo extensive training to be competent on the job. Workers must inspect their safety equipment frequently and perform proper planning and risk assessment before commencing any roofing project. They must also wear and use the right roof climbing equipment.
How to be Safe Working on a Roof
When working or walking on a slope, there is always a chance you could slip and fall. This doesn’t mean you have to work in fear. Here is how to be safe when working on a roof.
First, you need to use the right fall protection equipment, and there are several types of fall protection systems:
- Personal Protective Equipment - This is the gear worn by the roofer to protect him/her from any danger when working on the roof. A typical list of gear in a roofer’s kit includes a hard helmet, harness, work boots, gloves, hardware and fall arrest systems, etc
- Personal Fall Arrest System - This is the equipment used and worn by the roofer to help arrest their fall when they slip. A personal fall arrest system includes a roof work safety harness and anchorage.
- Fall Restraint or Prevention Equipment - This is the gear used to prevent the fall in the first place. A short lanyard that prevents a worker from getting too close to the edge of the roof is an example of fall restraint equipment used daily.
Second, a qualified person must install your anchorage point, and it must be strong enough to absorb high energy loads, reducing the chances of you getting injured in the event of a fall. If there is no way to set up a single strong anchor point, the professional may install several anchor points to increase safety. The anchorage needs to be above the user, prevent the roofer from contacting the lower level when they fall, and be needs to be certain that its location won’t cause the fallen worker to swing into a nearby object.
Investing in the proper fall arrest systems will eliminate fall risks and give you peace of mind when working at heights. Next up, we will look at the specific roofing protective equipment needed to improve the safety of a roofer.
Roofing safety equipment list
So, what do roofers use for safety?
There is a wide array of safety gear used by roofing professionals. These safety systems prevent falls, and should they happen, minimize the risk of injury. Whether you fall from the edge of a flat roof, or slide off a steep roof, the following roofing protection equipment will keep you safe.
1. Roof Work Safety Harness
You should never tackle a roof-related job without a roof safety harness, especially when the roof is steep, or its surface is slippery or fragile. A roofing harness is a key part to a a roofers personal protective equipment kit that will safely catch you if you fall.
Not all harnesses are made equal, so you’ll need to be careful when choosing one. You'll need to look into how the harness fits and how comfortable it is. It is likely that you will wear it for hours, so the comfort harness provides is an important factor to consider. You also need to make sure, the harness you choose is suitable for fall arrest.
One safety harness that fits this bill is the Singing Rock Roof Master, one of the best roofing harnesses out on the market.
It is a super-light and adjustable full-body harness that enables you to work on inclined surfaces without worrying about falls. It is fitted with an innovative Singing Rock’s motion system to grant you more freedom when working on roofs. The motion system not only allows work positioning but also distributes the energy of the fall to different body parts, reducing the risk of injury.
This well-padded roofing harness also has an adjustable waist belt and leg loops to ensure it fits snugly. You'll love its neoprene pocket for placing small objects on the right leg loop. For heavier tools, you can attach additional carabiners or the tool bag.
To learn more about the Singing Rock Roof Master Harness, watch the Singing Rock's video below on how to use the roofing harness.
2. Roofing Safety Lanyard
When it comes to working on a sloping roof, a sling lanyard is often preferred. It prevents falls caused by slippage or breaking structures. Sling lanyards connect the safety harness to the anchor point installed on the roof. The sling is fixed to a solid object above you and allows you to safely access different areas of the building, while remaining connected to an anchorage the whole time.
At VERX AU, you can choose from a wide range of quality sling lanyards. One of the best is the Singing Rock Sling Lanyard 120, a 120 cm long double safety sling with a strength of 22 kN.
Each sling lanyard includes an inner strap stitched inside a tough outer webbing. When the outer webbing gets damaged, you'll see the red inner strap, a sign that you need to immediately replace the lanyard. Singing Rock’s sling lanyards come in different colours and lengths ranging from 60 to 150 cm.
3. Work Positioning Lanyard for Roofing
Sometimes, you may need to climb up a structure and fix a roof light for example. If the structure you are climbing can be used as an anchorage connector, you can loop a work positioning lanyard around it and use it to position yourself. However, you’ll also need to use it alongside a shock-absorbing lanyard.
The job of the work positioning lanyard is to give you the freedom to carry out your work and not to arrest your fall (you will still need an absorber to arrest a fall - this not a replacement!).
With work positioning lanyard, you don’t have to use one hand to clutch on an object for balance when fixing a roof light or tackling a repair. This lanyard frees up both hands and lets you adjust your work position with ease. An example of the work positioning lanyard for roofing is the Singing Rock SITE.
It is a 200 cm long lanyard with an 11mm diameter. It allows you to adjust it and lock it in a preferred position. They are also available in the length of 400 cm. With a positioning lanyard, you'll always complete your work fast, efficiently, and safely. But you should never forget, it is not a replacement for a fall absorber.
4. Rope Protector
When working on roofs you will inherently come across sharp edges and rough surfaces. This could damage the rope your using. Using a protector, such as Singing Rock Rope Protector protects the sheath of your rope from abrasion, cuts, and any other form of friction-related damage.
Browse our site and shop for rope protectors of lengths ranging from 50 to 120 cm.
5. Roofing Anchor System
A roofing anchor system lets you work on a wide area on the roof while securely anchored. A safety line establishes the boundary of the safe working area, preventing you from getting too close to the edge.
Before installing the fine line, a professional should establish a strong anchor point that is above you. Also make sure the surrounding area should have no obstacles. If there is even the slightest possibility for a fall, make sure you put on a full-body safety harness.
Check out Singing Rock’s quality fine lines in lengths ranging from 10 m to 20 m which are easy to adjust and manipulate. A maximum of 2 people can be connected to the lifeline at one time.
6. Safety Helmet
Whether you are working below the roof or on it, you should always wear a safety helmet. It will protect you against falling tools and debris, and fixed objects that you can knock your head on.
An option is the Singing Rock Flash Aero helmet is well ventilated that provides maximum comfort even in the scorching sun, thus helping you focus on the job and reduce fatigue. It has a chin strap, ensuring that it doesn't come off when you fall or when you are working.
7. Roofing Tool Bag
When you are working at heights, you need both of your hands to be free. Instead of holding multiple tools in one hand or stuffing them in your side and shirt pockets, use a toolkit bag to safely carry your fasteners, screwdrivers, nails, hammer, and other tools.
The Singing Rock Toolkit Bag organises your tools effectively, allowing you to reach into the pouch and quickly grab the necessary tool without taking your eyes off your work. The Toolkit Bag will help you more more efficiently and effectively, thanks to an organised system.
The toolkit bag is made of high resistant and durable fabric, and can be attached to the roof work safety harness using a carabiner or worn using a belt. It has multiple holders and closable pockets.
A fall protection system isn't complete without carabiners. They are vital for your safety: they connect your lanyard to your roof safety harness and secure other components of height safety equipment. To maximize your safety when working on roofs, go for a carabiner with a triple lock. Its gate is highly secure and can't be accidentally opened. Some of the carabiners we recommend are:
- Singing Rock Steel Oval Connector Triple Lock designed specifically for work at height.
- Singing Rock Oxy Triple Lock that is made of hot-forged light alloy, making it extremely strong. It is easy to manipulate and designed to be used with pulleys, ascenders, and descenders.
9. Gear Bag
After investing in the proper roofing safety equipment, you’ll want a quality bag to store and transport your gear.
Singing Rock offers a durable gear bag that is meant to take up less space. It is also UV and water-resistant, and comes with detachable shoulder straps. There are also other dry bags available in different colours, with volumes ranging from 40 to 60 litres.
10. Suspension trauma straps
The last piece of roof safety equipment that roofers will appreciate are suspension trauma safety straps.
These straps will help to prevent effects of suspension trauma after a fall from the roof. They can be easily attached to the safety harness thanks to a girth hitch and velcro strap.
Working on a roof can be dangerous, as there is always a possibility of falling and getting injured. To safeguard yourself when working at heights, you need to take the necessary safety precautions. That means investing in the appropriate roof work safety equipment, proper training in the use of protective gear, and regular inspection of the safety equipment.
At VERX AU, we have all the protective gear you need to make your work at heights safe, comfortable, and convenient. Whether you are performing roof repairs, cleaning a gutter, installing a roof solar panel, or maintaining roof lights, you’ll find everything you need from full-body safety harnesses, lifelines, work position lanyards to safety helmets.
Feel free to browse through our website, and you will find a huge collection of height safety equipment for any unique application. Our equipment helps you to make it home safe every day.
Have any question regarding the roof work safety equipment? Do not hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. Our knowledgeable stuff will swiftly get back to you with a quick response.