Throughout winter, the last place most people want to be is on a roof. Populated with endless hazards, if you’re a roofing contractor, you can’t head up there unprepared. At risk are injury and death. Here’s are the five biggest warnings you want to watch out for when deciding what to pack.
Skin needs to be adequately protected from the wind and the temperatures. Ears, nose, fingers, and toes are among the most susceptible areas to frostbite. If anyone on your crew loses feeling in any part of their body and sees it turning to white, yellow, blue, or black, they need to be put in lukewarm water and emergency help needs to be notified immediately.
Low temperatures and moisture are the ingredients required for hypothermia, a condition that occurs once core body temperatures fall below what is required to keep one’s critical organs functioning. When a roofing contractor begins to perspire in cold weather, this is the perfect environment for hypothermia to rear its ugly head.
Identifying the symptoms of hypothermia are key to preventing injury for a roofing contractor. To anyone feeling suddenly drowsy, who has difficulty breathing, or who is experiencing uncharacteristic clumsiness, it’s time to get off the roof and call for help. The best way to combat hypothermia for a roofing contractor is with three layers of clothing – one to absorb body moisture, another to insulate, and a third to be water resistant.
Fall accidents are common when it comes to roofing in the winter. Typical to when a person is changing direction, everyone needs to move with caution on a roof during the colder months. Always check the ladder for ice and check the immediate surroundings for slippery spots.
De-Icing and Snow Removal should not be neglected
Removing ice and snow needs to be done by a trained professional prior to any roofing work commencing. Don’t overlook this key component of maintaining safety during the winter months. De-ice with salt, ensure that all snow has been removed, and ensure that no part of the roof is being concealed in any way by snow.
Dehydration is very important to roofing contractors in the winter yet it’s not always something kept in mind. Keeping yourself hydrated and warm is going to be key to staying awake and alert throughout a job. Keep this in mind when building your diet on a work day.
Play it Smart
If you want to be a roofing contractor in winter, the game becomes about playing it smart. If the weather looks bad or if there are hazards at play, wait. There’s no reason to engage in any work that is more dangerous than it needs to be. Don’t cut corners and remember to be aware of others on your crew. If they begin to see symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia, they need to be provided emergency care immediately. Following these tips, you’ll cut down on your risks and still be able to deliver a high quality roofing performance – even during the harshest of winter months!