Operating in a loft space can be dangerous if you don’t take a serious enough approach to safety. Given that you are inside, it is easy to become lax with your safety protocols, because the danger is not staring you in the face.
If you were to climb up onto a roof, then safety equipment is likely the first thought to cross your mind. The dangerous reality of work at heights is all too clear - with steep drops, uneven surfaces, and little to grip onto.
In contrast, working inside a roof space feels relatively safe. There are fewer obvious dangers, and you are not so high up. However, you still need to take the necessary precautions to prevent a serious accident from happening when you least expect it.
This is why loft crawl boards are so useful. They protect you from falling through the loft floor, prevent the ceiling from being damaged, give you a more level surface to walk on, and help distribute the weight across the floor, rather than risk breaking individual ceiling joists.
Here are some health and safety tips for loft crawl boards:
Make sure you have them attached to the ceiling joists
One of the most important health and safety tips for using loft crawl boards properly is to attach them to the ceiling joists. This will prevent them from slipping when you walk across them.
Ceiling joists are strong enough to hold your weight because the crawl board distributes it evenly across the space. This is useful when you are moving heavy objects like a water tank across the loft.
The CoverSafe Spark Loft Crawl Board can fill up to 600mm of space between joists, making them compatible with most types of joists.
It is also small enough to pass up a loft ladder or be folded into a van with ease, which is useful in smaller properties or if you have limited storage space.
Cover the loft hatch
Another crucial safety tip to follow is to cover the loft hatch. This gap in the floor is deceptively easy to fall through – especially when your visibility is limited, or you are distracted by a colleague.
If you can, cover the hatch back up. If you can’t, try and conduct your work at a safe distance from it. When lifting items in and out of the loft, work together with your colleagues to ensure you’re not taking unnecessary risks.
Remove any insulation if necessary
It is imperative that you lay the loft crawl board directly onto the ceiling joists. The reason for this is that it provides a flat, even surface, and gives you a sturdy foundation to secure it to.
Unfortunately, many loft spaces have excess insulation material which lies on top of the ceiling joists. If this is the case, you may struggle to flatten the crawl board enough to walk on securely.
What’s more, it may start moving, which can leave you more at risk than when you started.
To rectify this, simply move the loft insulation away, or store it neatly between the ceiling joists.