When you’re trying to carefully plan out all the facets of a roofing installation for a large-scale construction project, you’ll find that there are considerable challenges not only for the company who has ordered the work but for the roofing professionals who will be out physically tackling the roof installation on an active construction site. A commercial roof, especially on a large-scale project is not a simple task, even for the best, most experienced roofers. To lighten the anxiety you might feel and to help you stay focused on what matters, here are some professional tips and advice for large-scale construction project managers. This information will help you to keep the crew safe by practicing proper safety procedures while ensuring that the work is done correctly and timely from the start.
- Before you get started on the large scale roof installation at the construction site, be sure to take your time and do a complete safety sweep of the work zone to make sure everything is in the right place- accessible yet out of the way of workers, their safety gear should be ready, and all plans are in order to begin the work at hand.
- Make sure all your roofers assigned to the job have the proper protective gear including safety harnesses and roofing brackets to help prevent falls. Did you know that according to OSHA, the biggest violation for construction crews when it comes to accidents involving falls is due to workers not having the right tools to stay safe while on the roof? This means that it is up to the construction company to make sure everyone has the right tools for the job, including gear to prevent falls. Otherwise, you’ll face penalties leading to major monetary loss and possibly a poor reputation for the improper care of your employees.
- Keep all common and frequently used roofing materials and supplies on the job site so they will be available when you need them. These include any materials that you know you’re going to need every day on the job such as blades, fasteners and various types of safety gear.
- Always use the highest quality gear, tools, and materials for the roofing project. Higher quality products tend to make a job easier and lessen any risks involved in the production of the roof installation.
- All your men working on the roofing job for the large-scale construction project should have the proper training and experience using the equipment, machinery, and tools needed to complete the installation. This only makes it less likely for the roofer to get injured or in an accident causing damage to the property or harm to a person to happen.
- Make sure the crew stays away from power lines and other electrical units. Grabbing onto a live wire can cause a person to be shocked and thrown from a roof without hesitation. Roofers should also wear protective hand gear during the job.
- The proper footwear is extremely important for roofers. Wearing slippery, flat soled shoes (those with no tread) can be dangerous when climbing or standing on a steep roof. Make sure you and everyone else working on the roof has good footwear with tread or soft soles that will grip the roof and have good traction to prevent falls.
Read also: 10 helpful tips for construction managers
- Avoid working when the weather is bad. If there is a rain or snow storm or it is freezing outside, stay off the roof. Inclement weather is the biggest setback for roofers in the middle of a job but it is in everyone’s best interest to wait it out and resume the job once the weather settles.
- If you’re working on a sloped metal roof, be sure to keep all debris off the roof to prevent slipping or causing an accident. It’s a good idea to step on textured shingles when possible to avoid metal or other sleek surfaces which can be slippery when covered with wood debris or dampness.
- Keep tools and dangerous items away from the edge of the roof. Let’s face it, even the best workers have clumsy moments and it can be extremely dangerous to trip over a hammer or saw that is sitting on the edge of the roof. It only takes one trip over something to fall off the edge. Not to mention, if a sharp or heavy object falls off the roof, it could hurt someone below or damage the property on its way down.
- Make sure ladders are safe, sturdy and secure before climbing up to the roof. All ladders should be set up on level ground and on a hard surface. Sitting a ladder in grass or dirt leaves room for the ladder to sink into the surface where it can become unstable and tilt when someone is climbing. If you are working around power lines, try to use a fiberglass ladder rather than an aluminum ladder to stay safer. You should also make sure extension ladders are a few feet higher than the rooftop to help have a better grip when climbing onto the roof as well as when climbing down again.
- Plan for storage of large or bulky items so they will be on site and secured in the storage container when you need to access them. The contents of your storage unit should include shingles, roof trusses, hoists, cranes and other large material and equipment used when roofing. Even the roofing crews tools and protective gear can be stored away at the end of each day.
When you take the time that is necessary to make sure safety is the most important thing on your list of things to do on the job site, you are not just helping to make sure there are fewer accidents or injuries but you’re also keeping insurance costs down and helping prevent lawsuits from disgruntled clients or even roofing crew members. The safety of your contractors, others on the job site working, and the overall professionalism presented and practiced as you conduct the large-scale construction project should matter the most.
Written by Tom Masters