Roofing is a hazardous occupation. The most common accidents that occur to roofers are:
- Burns from handling hot asphalt bitumen or coal tar pitch
- Cuts and abrasions
- Eye injuries from dust or flying debris
- Falls from heights
In order to prevent injuries, always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). It is the responsibility of every construction worker not only to wear and use personal protective equipment that is prescribed by law, but also to wear and use any additional personal protective equipment that is required by the employer. Familiarizing workers with these safety requirements is the responsibility of management, each foreperson, supervisor and superintendent. Following these requirements is the duty and responsibility of each and every worker.
The following describes are the basic personal protective equipment used by a roofer.
- CSA approved hard hats, as defined in CSA Z94.1 Industrial Protective Headwear – Performance, Selection, Care and Use, must be worn at all times on a construction site.
- Shirts should be long-sleeved and buttoned at the Kettle operators should also wear pull-on over-sleeves (non-synthetic).
- Trousers should be cuffless, short enough to prevent tripping, yet long enough to extend over work boot.
- Safety boots should be high-cut with CSA approved heavy-duty toe and sole protection, as defined in CSA Z195 Protective They should also be tightly laced to the top to prevent the entry of hot material or debris. Bitumen build-up on the soles should be removed regularly throughout the day.
- Gloves with snug-fitting cuffs over the wrists should be worn when handling hot To prevent possible frostbite during the winter months, an adequate supply of dry work gloves should always be available so that workers can change wet gloves whenever necessary.
- Disposable face masks, that cover the nose and mouth, should be worn by workers during tear-offs, sweeping operations or when required by OH&S Since many different irritants can get into the air along with dust particles during a re-roofing job, various mask types should be available.
- CSA Z94.3 Eye and face protectors classifies eye and fact protection.
- Roof workers require protective glasses with side protection (CSA Class 1). Eye injuries could result from dust and particles in the air and from bitumen splashes and fumes.
- Workers filling hot luggers should wear protective goggles (CSA Class 2) to prevent hot bitumen splashes to the area surrounding the eye.
- Kettle operators should wear protective face shields (CSA Class 6) as well as protective spectacles or goggles.
- Knee pads to protect the knees when kneeling to work on a roof.
- Hearing protection when operating mechanical equipment.