Whether it’s installing a new flat roof or inspecting your guttering, safety is paramount when it comes to working on roofs. Inspections, repairs and roof replacements should always be carried out by those with the right training and equipment to ensure no harm comes to those completing the work and others around the property.

Here’s our guide for how to work safely on roofs.

What are the dangers of DIY roofing work?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), activities that result in injuries at work include falls from places such as ladders, roofs and scaffolding. Workplaces will often have stringent safety procedures and policies in place, so the risks will be higher if you don’t have the right support, training and know-how when it comes to completing tasks at height.

DIY roofing work should be avoided wherever possible. Even if you’re just trying to check something like whether there’s water pooling on a flat area or you want to remove moss from a roof, you can ask a roofing contractor to inspect. This ensures you’ll avoid falling or damaging your roofing (e.g. dropping debris you’re trying to remove).

Always use an accredited roofer as they will have the necessary training to competently work on your roof using the safest practices.

What’s the law for working at height?

Roofing companies are bound by health and safety laws, so they will need to follow the rules and regulations as set out by legislation. This includes The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and The Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Roofing contractors will need to risk assess any tasks required (even if it’s just having a quick look at your roof) to ensure they work safely at height. They may also need to postpone a job in severe weather.

If they can’t access your roof safely, scaffolding may be required, which means they can get to where they need to from a stable platform connected to stair towers.

How can you work safely on a roof?

When a roofer risk assesses a job, they look at access and how to safely work around unstable surfaces, such as pitched roof slopes.

As well as scaffolding, there’s lots of other safety equipment contractors use. This includes well-secured roof ladders and edge protection (e.g. guardrails) to avoid fragile roof surfaces.

Safe roof work systems can often be set up to allow greater access, including fall restraints, safety nets and staging. Warnings could also be shown for high-risk areas such as roof lights.

The use of PPE (personal protective equipment) is essential as a further precaution, covering everything from appropriate trousers and footwear to safety glasses.

Rubbish chutes can be used to negate the need to accumulate debris on a roof and provide easy ways of removing materials from the area safely.

Use accredited roofing contractors

Need an accredited roofer who uses the most up to date safety practices? At South Thames Roofing, we work across Surrey and South London, covering areas such as Kingswood and Southfields.

To get in touch, call now on 0208 397 2900 or send a message to [email protected].