5 Things to Be Aware of Regarding Roof Safety Harness Use

Posted on: 22 December 2015

While a harness is not necessary for all roofing work, some roofs are steep enough to require added security. A roof that is steeply pitched at an angle of 18.43 degrees or more is classified as a "steep roof" by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. When you're working on a roof that's this steep, using a safety harness can prevent injury and even save lives. 

The following are a few roof harness safety tips that you should be aware of to stay safe even when working on the steepest roofs.

Use slide guards when you're working with a harness

Slide guards are platforms attached along the roof parallel to the roof's eaves that allow the roofer a sturdy foothold while working. These platforms don't only support the roofer, but they also make convenient places for storing tools while working. 

Attach your roof brackets into a truss

Slide guards are attached using roof brackets that must be attached at trusses for a secure hold. Make sure you're nailing brackets into a truss so that they don't come out or become weakened when they're subjected to the weight of a worker. 

Inspect your harness every time you put it on

Over time, your harness is going to become worn out. It there is worn webbing or faulty stitching, your harness might not work properly when you need it. Make sure you're promptly replacing an old harness before it becomes risky to work with.

You should also inspect your harness for a tight fit every time you put it on. If straps are loose, you may slip out of the harness and become injured. 

Don't attach the roof anchor too close to the roof's edge

When you use a harness, you'll attach yourself to the roof by an anchor that will typically be attached at the peak of the roof. 

Make sure you're not attaching your anchor close to the edge of the roof. Attaching your anchor as close to the center of the roof as possible creates a sturdy hold that will keep you secure as you work and prevent your anchor from slipping off the roof's edge. 

Minimize the distance between yourself and the roof anchor

While you want to try to attach the anchor close to the roof's center and away from it's edges, you also want to minimize the distance between yourself and the anchor.

As you move further from the roof anchor, more slack can build up in the rope that's holding you to the anchor. If a great deal of slack is left between you and the anchor, you'll be more likely to become injured if you slip. 

For more information or assistance, contact companies like American Building & Roofing Inc.