Employee Safety in the Roofing Industry

How to Protect Your Employees


Have you ever wondered about your employees’ safety? Are the proposed measures sufficient to keep your workers safe no matter what? It’s crucial to implement some additional precautions that will help you look after the health and lives of your employees!

Working at height on a roof has always been one of the greatest risks within the construction industry. The tiniest mistake can cost you your health or, in the worst-case scenario, your life. This is why it is crucial to identify the potential risks connected to the roofing industry and to address them by taking appropriate safety measures that would help to protect workers by avoiding undesirable incidents.


“Falls from height remain the most common cause of work-related fatalities and serious injuries in the construction industry and the risks associated with working at height are well-known.”
– Sharron Cripps, HSE inspector


Being highly dangerous, it is required by law that all roof work must be organised and planned carefully in order to be carried out safely. By taking precautionary measures you will be able to control the dangers and, most likely, save someone’s life. So, if you wish to find out which safety measures to use to protect your employees and keep the work environment safe, keep reading and take some notes!

What Are the Main Causes of Safety Incidents in Construction?

The facts are staggering: almost one in five deaths in construction work involves roof work. The main causes of death and injury consist of falling from roof edges or openings, through fragile roofs, and according to statistics provided by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), almost half of all construction accidents (47%) were falls from height. However, the majority of these incidents could have been prevented if the necessary arrangements, such as adequate training, suitable equipment and supervision, had been in place.


“Working at height, with large open edges can be particularly dangerous and it is important that those in control of the work identify the risks posed by replacing roofs and then take appropriate control measures to safeguard workers and others, to ensure that the risks are being managed.”
– Sharron Cripps, HSE inspector


As for the sites of the accidents, falls from roof edges occur on both commercial and domestic projects, on new build and refurbishment jobs. HSE reports that in 2019/20 there were forty fatal injuries and around 61,000 construction workers sustained non-fatal injuries, most of which were slips, trips and falls. The data shows the significance of the problem and the need to look for solutions that would prevent these incidents from happening.

How Archdesk ERP Helps Roofing Companies With Employee Safety

Archdesk ERP software is here for you to help take care of your employees and to look after their safety. We are 100% committed to supporting you and your company with this ever-present challenge so that your employees can fully enjoy working in a safe and protected environment.

Our software will help you stay in control, even with the largest and most advanced projects, and will give you the opportunity to monitor everything from one place. Thanks to our Archdesk solutions, your managers will be able to make sure every task is carefully planned, properly aligned and assigned to the right person. With our easy tracking system, both you and your managers can keep tabs on who is performing what action, which will provide successful supervision and streamline collaboration. Finally, our cohesive design will help you be sure that all things are in order before each day so that both you and your employees know what to expect.

Find out more about how Archdesk ERP supports roofing companies by contacting us.

How to Ensure the Safety Of Your Employees?

There are plenty of reasons and law requirements for you to introduce the below safety measures that will help you secure the site, ensure that risks are being mitigated and safeguard your workers.

It is better to be safe than sorry, so providing the following safety measures is in everyone's best interests:

  • Suitable training - those carrying out the work must be competent and fully instructed in the use of the required precautions

  • Method statement - it is a common way of managing work on roofs and communicating the precautions

  • Close collaboration between the client and the contractor - on business premises, contractors should cooperate closely with the client and agree on arrangements for managing the work

  • Supervision - those working at height should be given an appropriate and constant supervision to ensure that the work is carried out in a safe manner

  • Safe access to roofs - carefully planned access to a roof is needed, including ladders, stair towers, general access scaffolds and roof access hatches

  • Fragile surfaces - working on fragile roof surfaces requires a combination of stagings, guard rails, fall restraint, fall arrest and safety nets beneath the roof. Always use a platform beneath the roof.

    • Fragile roofs - all roofs must be treated as fragile until a competent person says otherwise. Do not rely on any sheeted roof to bear the weight of a person or beyond the maximum capacity.

    • Fragile rooflights - you have to provide protection in these areas by using either barriers or covers, which are secured and labelled with a warning.

  • Roof edges and openings

    • Sloping roofs - they require scaffolding to prevent a fall from the edge and edge protection to the eaves of any roof.

    • Flat roofs - falls from flat roof edges can be prevented by simple edge protection arrangements – a secure double guardrail and toeboard around the edge.

To continue the last point, while all roof constructions are susceptible to localised fire spread from within a building, flat roofs are at a greater risk of being the original fire source. Therefore, being aware of the very real threat of fire in flat roofs and identifying places where the risk can be lessened are the first two steps in the prevention of roof fires.

In over half of all fire service callouts (50,5%) in the UK, arson is the cause. Being an accessible surface area, flat roofs are an easy target for arson attacks, making roof work incredibly risky and difficult for employees. On top of that, mechanical failures of machinery installed on flat rooftops and flawed solar powers also greatly increase fire risks.

Given all of that, it is of the utmost importance to choose only the safest materials, the ones that will not burn or contribute to fire spread. The best option in this case is a non-combustible insulation product. The good news is that a lot of developers are already reducing the risk of error by adopting a single non-combustible insulation specification for the whole roof area. This solution not only improves the site programmes by making them more efficient but also gives greater peace of mind and security for both the contractor and the client, ensuring that fire risks have been mitigated and minimised as much as possible.

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2024-04-16 02:23:18