Like most roofers, you probably use the usual tie-offs and safety precautions that most other roofers use. While these measures work reasonably well, there are other approaches you can use to increase the personal safety of each member of your crew. Using the following scientific principle and some unique devices, you can ensure the safety of everyone working on a job when they are up on a roof.
Every Action Has an Equal and Opposite Reaction
This is Newton's Third Law, one which states that if you have two bodies in motion and the first one falls or accelerates up the second body will react by moving in the opposite direction. To apply this to safety measures while your crew is working on a roof, have your crew tie themselves to each other. This can be done one of two ways:
- Crew members of equal weight and height tie themselves to each other and then work opposite slopes or ends of the roof.
- Lightweight crew members tie themselves to heavier crew members. The heavier crew members work higher up on the roof while the lighter crew members work farther down on the slopes.
In the event that one crew member slips and starts to fall off the roof, the other crew member can brace for fall on the opposite side of the roof or prevent the lighter crew member from hitting the ground by acting as a counterweight.
Devices Which Can Increase the Effectiveness of the Application of This Scientific Law
Along with partnering up your crew members so that they can effectively work as teams to protect each other on the job, you can purchase and incorporate a couple of different devices. One of these devices is especially helpful when your crew is working on a flat roof several stories up or a steep-sloped roof that is at least two stories high. It is a set of steel bars that attach to the main timbers or cement of the roof. An additional stretch of metal bar can attach to this square set of bars and extend out in any one direction.
Your crew not only attach to each other but also to this set of bars. The bars act as backup to the counterweight the partners provide for each other. Should the one partner be caught off guard by the other partner's fall, the tie-offs on this metal device will prevent both of them from falling. The bars can also act as a brace or place to grab onto by the second partner to help pull the first one back up from the edge of the roof.