Don’t Fall Off That Roof!

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  • Author C. Michael Hunter
  • Published November 23, 2011
  • Word count 513

The biggest hazard in the construction industry is falling from a tall building or other structure where work is being performed. Workers are always exposed to this kind of risk in various places, including roof tops. Those who install roof framing for a living are at a much higher risk of this happening and must take the proper control measures to prevent a tumble. Since every year workers die from falls, it is important to start any work on the top of the house with careful planning. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that falls from a height of six feet or more create a greater risk of serious injuries or even death.


The injuries that can be incurred by falling may range from a simple injury to permanent injuries with severe physical disabilities; the injuries could be in the form of broken bones, sprains, or strains. Falling to even a semi-solid surface or onto a sharp object could cause contusions, internal bleeding, and lacerations. A fall onto a solid surface could result in fatal injuries at a job-site. To prevent this, it is important to devise a plan to help eliminate and reduce work-site injuries resulting from falling hazards.

Avoiding the Risk

Many governmental bodies work diligently to provide safety standards to protect employees from the risk of falling. This is embodied in the four elements of best practices: limited roof access; adequate training; hazard analysis; and activity monitoring to ensure that safety is always present on the job.

• Limited Roof Access - This element ensures that only trained personnel are authorized access to the roofing system. Qualifying as a trained worker means that employee must be certified to identify, assess, evaluate, and control such hazards.

• Training – In any situation, training is essential to recognize and identify any hazards; training also enables an employee to take the necessary action to minimize exposure to such risks. Training should include: possible risks encountered while climbing on a roof; appropriate protection equipment; correct methods of using personal protective devices; and proper reporting of any problems related to falling issues.

• Analysis – It is important to analyze any existing job-site hazards to determine the proper protection strategy that should be implemented while work is being performed.

• Monitoring – It is the responsibility of employers to monitor all job-site activities and report any uncontrolled hazards in the area to all contractors. In that way, any existing problem is properly addressed. Monitoring should be done by someone with a great deal of knowledge and skills to determine whether the task is being performed satisfactorily.

There are many methods to prevent workers from falling off a roof. All of these procedures depend on the hazards present in the area; however, it is essential to use proper control measures to minimize the degree of exposure employees face from these hazards. Knowing about best practices, certain safety standards, and adequate skills are important to any worker who will perform these tasks. So don’t fall off the roof; instead, execute the proper planning so that this hazard can be avoided!

C. Michael Hunter is an expert in residential and commercial roofing. To find out more about Roof Houston, go to the main website at:

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