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Why Working on a Roof could be Dangerous

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

Working on a roof can be dangerous. Falls account for more deaths and serious injuries in construction than anything else and roofers account for 24% – the biggest category of worker by far – of those people who are killed in all falls from height.

Any fall from a roof inevitably involves at least a serious injury. The risks are substantial, however long or short the work. Many who have been killed were only meant to be on the roof for a few minutes.

Accidents don’t just happen to those building roofs, but also to people maintaining, cleaning, demolishing and inspecting them.

Any work on a roof is high risk because it involves work at height. High safety standards are essential however long or short term the work is. The nature of the precautions needed may vary from one job to another.

roof edge upright freestanding protection system blue sky with some clouds as background

Roof Edge protection

Wherever anyone could fall, the first line of defense is to provide adequate edge protection to prevent a fall occurring. This should include or be equivalent to:

a main guard rail at least 950 mm above the edge;

a toe board where there is risk of objects being kicked off the edge of the platform; and

a suitable number of intermediate guard rails or suitable alternatives positioned so that there is no gap more than 470 mm.

Unless the roof parapet provides equivalent safety, temporary edge protection will be required during most work on flat roofs. Both the roof edge and any openings in it need to be protected. It will often be more appropriate to securely cover openings rather than put edge protection around them. Any protection should be strong enough to withstand people and materials falling against it.

Kite rood edge protection system

Kite’s qualified surveyors are able to carry out professional site surveys to help companies comply with legislation and to determine the best solution for specific requirements.

Our Free Site Surveys are ideal for buildings with a small roof area and include a single page report, outlining our recommendations together with photographs, drawings and a full costing for the suggested solution.

Kite is able to offer clients the following fall protection services Commissioned Surveys are ideal for large or multiple sites and can help to establish what work is required in order to prepare budgets and gain approval from management and/or the finance department.

Following the survey(s), Kite provides a comprehensive report including relevant legislation, description of the areas surveyed, digital photographs, layout drawings, risk assessment of each area surveyed and a detailed cost analysis. A summary report is also produced, prioritising the suggested work for reference.



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