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Safety First: How Do Roofing Companies Keep Their Roofers Safe?


Safety has become the greatest concern for those working in the trades and focus on providing safe work environments for employees has substantially improved since the start of the industrial revolution. Employers and governments have recognised the right of their employees to be provided with newer, higher quality safety gear to help ensure that they don’t get injured and that they make it home to see their families each night. Safety is particularly important in the roofing industry, where workers are expected to conduct work from high off the ground, where a fall could cause serious harm. So how do roofing companies keep their roofers safe?

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Scaffolding around a roofing job in Elwood. Photo: Top Glaze Roofing Systems

Guard rails are probably the most common safety measure implemented by roofers. Guard rails are installed around the perimeter of the roof and can either be attached to the rafters under the first row of roof tiles, or they can be installed as ground-up rails. Guard rails ensure that if a roofer slips or steps back too far, that there is something there to prevent them from falling from the roof. Guard rails are often used in conjunction with harnesses for added protection.

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Guard rails around a roof in Cranbourne. Photo: Top Glaze Roofing Systems

Harnesses have long been a staple of safety gear for any work which requires workers to operate from a height. In the early 20th century, body belts based on those used by mountaineers began being used in workplaces. However, these body belts still required workers to “fall correctly (horizontally),” lest the belts slip over their shoulders, leaving the worker to plunge to the ground. Starting in the 1940’s, safety harnesses inspired by equipment used by paratroopers during WWII became the preferred replacement for body belts. Today, safety harnesses must meet regulations implemented by governments around the world.

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Roofers wearing harnesses in the U.S.

The last piece of safety equipment that is going to be mentioned in this blog is scaffolding. Sockets in the walls around cave paintings in Southwestern France suggest that scaffolding-like structures were used as far back as 17,000 years ago. The ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Chinese used scaffolding-like structures to construct buildings, with their scaffolds being constructed of timber secured by rope. Bamboo scaffolds are still used in parts of China today. Modern scaffolding in western countries is usually made of steel or aluminium. Scaffolds provide a solid platform for roofers to work from if they are unable to stand on the roof, itself.

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Scaffolding assembled around a house in Ventnor on Victoria’s Phillip Island. Photo: Top Glaze Roofing Systems

Safety is an incredibly important and serious issue. Be aware of companies that don’t take the measures necessary to protect their workers from harm. Some companies may try to cut costs by not providing their workers with the necessary safety equipment, which could lead to disaster. Always use a full licensed and insured roofing company to complete any roofing works at your home.

Top Glaze Roofing Systems® are a licensed and experienced roofing company that have been servicing Melbourne and its surrounding suburbs since 1987. To organise a professional assessor to come out and provide a free no obligation roof report and quote for all your roofing needs, call 1800 88 77 98 anytime.


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