Working on a roof with snow, ice, or wind carries a risk of a fall onto the roof, or a fall off the roof to the ground below or through a snow-covered skylight, all of which are often fatal. Therefore, employers should protect their workers from these hazardous work conditions by:
• Using snow removal methods that do not involve workers going on roofs, when and
• Evaluating loads exerted on roof or structure (e.g., total weight of snow, workers and equipment used), compared to the load limit of the roofs.
• Requiring that workers use fall protection equipment.
• Ensuring that workers use ladders and aerial lifts safely.
Remove Snow Without Going on the Roof Whenever possible, use methods to clear ice and snow without workers going on the roof. For example:
• Use ladders to apply de-icing materials.
• Use snow rakes or drag lines from the ground.
Plan Ahead for Safe Snow Removal from Roofs
Before snow starts to accumulate, think about what will be needed to safely remove snow from roofs or other elevated surfaces:
• Can snow be removed without workers going onto the roof?
• Are there any hazards on the roof that might become hidden by the snow and need to be marked so that workers can see them (skylights, roof drains, vents, etc.)?
• How should the snow be removed, based on the building’s layout, to prevent unbalanced loading?
• What are the maximum load limits of the roof and how do they compare with the estimated total weight of snow, snow-removal equipment, and workers on the roof?
• What tools, equipment, protective devices, clothing and footwear will workers need?
• What type of fall protection will be used to protect workers on roofs and other elevated surfaces?
• What training will workers need to work safely?
• How will mechanized snow removal equipment be safely elevated to the roof?
• How will you protect people on the ground from snow and ice
If you must do it yourself make sure you are doing it safely, but before you do give Custom Gutter and Roofing a call at 203-648-4939 and see how easy and affordable we can make it for you.
More great roof safety tips at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA-3513roof-snow-hazard.pdf