To work safely on the roof, it is necessary not only to use special fall protection equipment, but also to apply these means correctly. The statistics of accidents among construction workers in this area are depressing. But many still neglect their own safety.
General contractors, companies carrying out reconstruction, frame and a number of other works at height must ensure compliance with existing rules. Most of these rules are by no means new. Many of them have been in operation for almost half a century. Those in the construction industry are aware that falls are the leading cause of serious injury and death.
The new protection rules cover more than just fall prevention. Many other fall prevention options are beyond the scope of this article, such as requiring mandatory training in safe work at height.
Fall protection regulations in the construction industry apply to everyone who works at heights. In accordance with them, at any stage of the construction of a residential building, where people work at a height of more than 1.8 m, it is required to use protective equipment. Workers should be protected from falling by handrails, safety nets or personal fall prevention equipment (PPD). Work carried out from ladders, scaffolding and cradles is subject to special safety regulations.
But handrails, and safety net systems are not designed for pitched roofs or timber framed structures. All builders must work using lanyards with carabiners to attach to flexible rope anchors and temporary roof anchor points that constitute the individual fall prevention system. The manufacturers of these systems provide the kits with instructions for installing and checking their strength, as well as instructions for the safe use of system components, care and maintenance. Everyone who uses protective equipment should know these instructions.
Attachment of the safety equipment
The safety of roof work begins with the secure attachment of the safety equipment. The huge number of injured workers can serve as a clear illustration of how responsible this task can be. Roof-mounted fall arrest racks should be securely installed on the highest part of the rafter leg or on a ridge beam with a cross-section of at least 100 × 50 mm. The attachment points of the ropes of individual anchor lines of the belay are spaced at a distance of about 2.4 … 3.0 m, and from the side of the building end – by 1.8 … 2.4 m from each other. This interval is required in order to avoid a situation called a wobbling fall or “pendulum effect”. When working at height, the person should be within an arc of ± 30 ° from the vertical on one side or the other of the anchor point. In this case, the length of the safety line should not be more than 2 m.
Some types of roof-mounted anchorages can be installed in the absence of decking, provided that adjacent rafter legs above and below the installation site are connected with boards with a thickness of at least 50 mm. One of them should be nailed to the top of the rafter legs (near the ridge beam), and the second one should be nailed to the bottom of the rafter legs below the roof mounts. This ensures the reliability of the attachment of the harness.
We advise you not to mount these devices until all the rafter legs, battens or sheathing have been installed, that is, when the roof system is not stable enough to securely attach worker safety systems to it. All roof-mounted safety anchorages must be checked to ensure that they can withstand a load of 2 tonnes. It must be remembered that each anchor unit is designed for one worker.
Even minor accidents can disrupt the normal rhythm of work and lead to a waste of time and financial resources for training those workers who have to replace the knocked out. If there is only one person in the workplace, then they will certainly feel much safer if they use proper protective equipment. And the work will be done much easier and faster, since their thoughts will not be focused on how to avoid falling.
click here for more interesting articles