Spring is the perfect time to carry out roof maintenance and ensure everything is in working order on the roof of your building.
Carrying out roof maintenance between March and June means you avoid both the wet and windy winter months, which can make roof work even more dangerous than usual, and the hotter summer months, which bring a whole host of issues of their own.
It is vital that when carrying out planned maintenance - whether it is on plant, machinery or the roof surface itself, you know the best way to carry out the work and how to keep yourself and any workers in your care safe, and that you use the correct equipment.
You should remember that the hierarchy of controls states that where possible, this kind of work should be carried out from the ground, such as with a reach and wash system if cleaning windows.
However, is this is not possible and the roof must be accessed, there are some simple tips you can follow to ensure work carried out safely.
- Always carry out a pre-work risk assessment, as well as an ongoing dynamic risk assessment. Highlight any likely dangers, such as falling objects, fragile roofs or trip hazards.
- Carry out pre-use checks on ladders: check the stiles, feet, rungs, steps/treads, platform and locking mechanisms. Make sure the ladder is long enough or high enough for the specific task and ensure the ground is clear and level. Despite common belief, a single person is not enough to foot a ladder. If it slips left or right due to over-reaching, the person at the base of the ladder would find it very difficult to support your weight without injuring him or herself too. Instead, consider using a pair of ladder spurs, which provide a wider footing.
- Ensure anyone accessing the roof is competent to carry out the work expected of them. Competency is essential. Only those who are fully trained in working at height and using equipment such as ladders safely will have the correct skills, knowledge and experience to work safely.
- Most importantly, always plan the work carefully. This is even more vital after the winter months when there could be hidden risks.
Easi-Dec offers a range of safe roof access solutions for various tasks which make maintenance much safer and more efficient.
Fascias, Soffit and Gutter Work
Rather than accessing the roof to clean/repair gutters, fascias or soffits, you can avoid the risks by using our Easi-Dec platform.
The Easi-Dec Platform allows for safe, rapid access up to the roofline level, and provides a safe platform to work from. It can be built and raised by a trained user in less than 10 minutes, and can even be moved around a building once built. Easy to store and transport on either an estate car or in a transit van, it is a faster and cheaper alternative to full scaffolding.
For smaller jobs, we provide the Platform Ladder, a lightweight and safe personal mini access platform comprising a secure gated platform and a special detachable ladder, ideal for any external short duration work at heights of up to 7 metres.
Alternatively, you can combine our Ladder Spurs and Ladder Stand-Off to carry out the work safely from a ladder.
Cable beds and changes in level can be a serious hindrance when accessing roof plant such as air conditioning units. To combat this, we provide a range of bespoke or off-the-shelf Step-Overs and Access Platforms, which allow you to safely cross traverse these obstacles.
The modular systems are provided part-assembled for easy installation and the quality of the Kee tubular fittings mean they will remain durable for years to come.
For smaller obstacles where a full step-over might not be suitable, we offer a smaller Mini Step-Over option.
Roof Work and Repair
Post-winter, roofs may need to be repaired and resealed following snow or heavy rain/wind. This can be a particularly risky task on fragile or industrial roofs.
To mitigate the dangers posed, we offer the Roof Walk system, a lightweight aluminium walkway which allows access from eaves to ridge whilst spreading the load on support battens, providing the user with a safe working position for skin maintenance, inspection, cleaning and resealing. Each 4m section is available with a handrail and can be easily linked to provide a longer walkway.
Alternatively, for roofs with gutter valleys, we provide the Valley Walk system, a mobile walking frame for up to two users, designed to provide mobile roof cover. Featuring cushioned outriggers for comfort filled with a safety mesh, it can also be used to transport a light payload.
The Valley-Walk is suitable for typical symmetrical valleys, but is also fully adjustable to suit asymmetrical designs.
Roof maintenance can be dangerous, but if you are properly prepared and invest in the correct equipment, you can reduce the risk to you and your workers.
For more information about any of our safe roof access products, click here, or call us on 01767 691812.