OSEA Safety Blog

Roofing in the Rain

Monday, March 4, 2019 Michele Pratt

Roofing in the rain does not conjure up the same image of Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the rain. How do you keep your project on track when there is rain in the forecast and how do you keep your crew safe? Severe weather conditions such as flash floods, thunderstorms with lightening and an all-out downpour may change activities to not working directly on the top of the roof. In 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 647 fatal falls from roofs. Many of these falls could have been prevented.

Here’s how:

1. Secure your ladder. Ensure that your ladder is in good working order, not bent or having rungs missing, stickers missing, or painted over-- as that would be an OSHA violation. Make sure you have the correct size ladder for the height of the roof that you are working on. If the roof is too high for a ladder, scaffolding or lift equipment must be used and in good working order.

2. Wear a Harness – Fall protection harnesses are easily accessible. Ensure that you are wearing the correct size, have an appropriate anchorage point, and receive training on how to use the equipment properly.

3. Safeguard yourself by wearing appropriate footwear. Good sturdy footwear with soft rubber soles and composite or steel toes.

4. Use the good housekeeping standards of keeping nails, shingles and tools in the best places for safety and clear debris off the roof when replacing part or whole areas of a roof.

5. Provide your working area with a 2-foot minimum perimeter around the ladder to allow tools to fall safely if dropped.

In addition to keeping you and your crew safe from slips, trips, and falls you want to be aware of some factors for optimizing roof repair and replacement. There are some warranties that become null and void if installed during rain. Shingles and roofing materials are not always secure when fitted during periods of moisture. In addition, if moisture is trapped it could lead to mold which is another issue you really don’t need. Keep yourself safe, make sure the reward outweighs the risk.




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