A recent news story last month in Manchester, saw a professional roofer sentenced for breaching health and safety laws. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) stated that the Manchester-based roofer placed both his life and the life of his employee at great risk.
Had had failed to implement any edge protection or scaffolding while carrying out a roof replacement. Members of the public would have also been vulnerable to any falling materials thanks to the lack of safety measures.
It’s a story that highlights the importance of having the correct control measures and safe working practices in place when carrying out any commercial roofing or industrial roofing work in Manchester. With this in mind, we at Roofing Consultants wanted to offer some health and safety advice that applies to industrial roofing in Manchester, the North West or anywhere else in the UK for that matter.
First, how dangerous is your commercial or industrial roof?
Any industrial roofing or commercial roofing system has the potential to be littered with hazards, from decking and skylights to being exposed to the elements, professional roofing contractors and employees can be very much at risk.
Other risks roofers can be exposed to include:
- Unstable ladders – working on a roof with no interior stairs or doorway requires ladders to access it. These can become unstable if not properly secured or tied off.
- No parapets – with no barrier in place on the roof ledge, any roofing contractors are at far greater risk of falling.
- Vulnerable skylights – these types of fixtures can become weaker when too much weight is put on them. If not correctly cordoned off, there’s a risk of roofers falling through them.
- Roof debris – branches, leaves, roofing materials and tools can always pose a risk to roofing contractors and anyone else on the roof, especially in windy conditions.
- Poor weather conditions – heavy rain, snow or wind can make it very difficult to carry work out on an industrial roofing system, the risk or slipping on a wet service or falling because of limited visibility is high.
- Electrical and chemical dangers – roofing contractors can often end up working near high voltage electrical sources, like overhead power lines. There’s also the risk of toxin exposure with the presence of asbestos or lead.
What health and safety steps can you take?
When it comes to industrial roofing in Manchester, there are various safety measures and precautions that can be put in place to ensure any roofing system is as safe as possible to work on.
Some of the main safety steps include:
Providing safe access
For any contractors carrying out industrial or commercial roofing in Manchester or anywhere in the UK, having safe access to the roof is of course, absolutely essential. Safe access does require careful planning, especially when work is progressing along the roof. Fixed or mobile scaffolds, general mobile access equipment such as ladders, or roof access hatches, can all be used to provide safe access.
Making roof edges safe
For both commercial and industrial roofing projects in Manchester, falls from the roof edges are always one of the biggest risks. Scaffolding is needed to prevent roofing contractors, or anyone else from from falling over the edge, and this applies to falling materials as well. Fitting edge protection to the eaves of any commercial or industrial roofing system, such as a secured guardrail and toeboard, can go a long way to preventing falls.
Treating any roof as fragile
It’s important to treat any commercial or industrial roofing system as fragile, until professional roofing contractors confirm that it isn’t. Sheeted roofs, roof ridge and purlins, should always be treated with caution, as none of them may be able to bear the weight of a person. Make use of barriers and covers that are secured and labelled to warn people of fragile areas, especially rooflights, which can often be obscured in poor light conditions. Safety tape can also be used to mark out areas in order to draw attention to any obstacles and tripping hazards.
Promoting comprehensive health and safety training
Perhaps the most important aspect of making sure your roofing system is as safe as possible is by ensuring that anyone who goes up to the roof is fully trained and equipped to do so. Industrial roofing in Manchester always has its risks, even for professional roofing contractors. So strong roof health and safety training should be a fundamental part of your business, no matter how frequently workers or staff go on the roof.
Prohibit access to the roof for anyone that isn’t adequately trained, and make sure people know how to properly use the safety equipment that should be provided.
The best way to ensure health and safety measures are met for your commercial or industrial roofing project in Manchester, is by choosing quality, dependable roofing contractors who have a proven track record of safety and customer satisfaction.
At Roofing Consultants, all of our roofing and cladding contractors are fully accredited and trained to the highest possible standard before taking on any project. We know that health and safety always comes first when carrying out any commercial or industrial roofing in Manchester, the North West, or anywhere in the UK.
Contact us today on 0800 046 1500 or fill out our contact form online.