Roofing is a very hazardous line of work. Not only do these workers have to do their job at considerable heights, but they have to deal with potentially steep roof pitches and surfaces that aren't always easy to work on. It is imperative that these individuals use safe work site practices.
Companies who employ roofers are responsible for having the proper equipment and protocol in place to ensure workers can do their jobs safely. Here are some of the basics that apply to all roofing situations:
One of the most important things for roofers is to make sure that they know where power lines are located around the work site. These must be avoided at all costs, so ensure that ladders and other equipment don't come into contact with them.
Another important thing to know is where there are underground obstacles. Things like septic tanks shouldn't be beneath ladders, scaffolding and any heavy equipment like a lift.
All ladders, lifts and scaffolding must be in good shape for the job. These should be inspected at least at the start of each shift. If anything amiss is found, the equipment shouldn't be used until it is fixed.
Safety at heights above ground
When workers are climbing and on the roof, they should have proper safety gear. Soft soled boots are ideal because they get good traction on the shingles and roof. Never try to get on a wet roof since you are more likely to slip off a wet surface.
Make sure that you are using proper procedures to climb ladders and work on scaffolding. These aspects of the job might require workers to wear safety harnesses to help keep them protected.
Equipment and tool safety
All equipment should be checked before each use. Electrical tools should be grounded and not have any defects in the wiring. Any tools that will be used at heights above ground should be tethered to prevent them from falling onto other workers or site visitors.
Workers should know how to safely use the tools they have to work with. While it isn't expected that they will read all safety manuals, they should have an understanding of proper usage and be shown this when they are working with new tools.
When a roofer is injured on the job site, they should seek medical attention right away. There is a chance that injuries that don't seem too bad might be worse then they appear.