Summer temperatures have been above average over the past several years. Anyone who works outdoors (e.g. laborers for a roofing company) must take additional steps to keep themselves cool and hydrated. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, many people don’t realize how important this is until they find themselves suffering from a heat-related illness. Fortunately, there are precautions you can help your employees take so they not only understand the importance, but don’t find themselves suffering from such an illness – or even worse, a fatality.
Watch the Weather
By routinely checking the forecast you can remain aware of any impending weather patterns. If there’s to be a lot of sun, you’ll want to do your best to work around it. Start early in the morning working on the west side of a sloped roof then move to the east side as the sun changes positions. When rain or thunderstorms are forecasted, make sure you’re prepared to shut down fast – before you have roofing safety concerns due to a slippery roof.
Cool Down and Stay That Way
According to the U.S. Department of Labor your roofing company employees should take a water break every 15 minutes. They should also wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing and hats with a brim on them. Also remember to apply a SPF 30+ sunscreen.
Watch for Symptoms of a Heat-Related Illness
An important part of roofing safety is knowing what the symptoms of heat stroke include. These are:
- Body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Throbbing headache
- Feeling of light-headedness or dizziness
- Flushed appearance
- Lack of sweating
- Rapid pulse or heart rate
- Change in behavior or mental status (e.g. confusion, slurring speech, irritability)
Anyone exhibiting these signs should be helped into the shade to cool down with water and ice packs. Your roofing company supervisor should also be made aware of the situation so they can call 911 if necessary.
Maintain Routine Safety Protocols
You shouldn’t overlook roofing safety because you feel it’s too hot outside. Hard hats and extra harnesses are still vital since falls are the main cause of injury on a construction site.
Be Cautious Around Tools and Supplies
Use caution (e.g. wear gloves) when working with stacks of shingles since they may have been in the sun for a prolonged amount of time. If they’ve been rained on they may be too heavy to be safely carried. Direct sunlight can also soften them so they’re dangerous to walk on. Additionally, any tools that were left in the sun (especially metal ones) can cause burns, which is why they too should be stored in the shade.
Don’t Spend too Much Time on the Roof
Working on a roof means working in the direct sunlight, which makes it even hotter, thus increasing your need for breaks. It’s a good idea to find ways to reduce the number of times you climb onto the roof (e.g. estimating vs. hand measuring). This is even more important when you’re working on a residential roof because its pitch is over 4:12 – something that’ll increase your risk of falling. Of course, this is also why you should work more with the flow of the sun and earlier in the day too.
Stay Safe This Summer!
While these tips will help you stay safe while working on your roof this summer, you can also choose to leave the job to a team of professionals like those at Done Rite Roofing, Inc. They’ll not only take their safety concerns to heart, but your best interests too. Call them today and see why so many people are satisfied with the service they’ve provided them with over the years.