Post Content

Every year, workers are killed or seriously injured while performing snow or ice removal from rooftops and other building structures, such as decks.

Often workers climb directly onto the roofs or structures and use equipment such as shovels, snow rakes, snow blowers and ladders to access roofs and apply de-icing materials. Workers who perform these activities may have little experience or training on the hazards of such operations or work. Based on findings of worksite investigations, falls cause the most worker fatalities and injuries during rooftop snow removal. Workers may fall off roof edges, through skylights, and from ladders and aerial lifts. Workers may also be injured or killed by a roof collapse.

Employers must plan ahead to protect workers conducting snow removal from roofs and prevent workers from falling off the roof or from falling through skylights. In order to prevent worker injury when removing snow from roofs, remember these safety tips:

  • Use snow removal methods that do not involve workers going onto roofs, when possible.
  • Provide fall protection equipment to workers who go onto roofs.rooftop-snow-removal
  • Guard skylights so workers do not fall through.
  • Mark skylights, roof drains, vents that might be hidden by the snow.
  • Avoid contact with electrical power lines. Keep ladders, aerial lifts and workers at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Evaluate weight load exerted on roof to ensure that the roof can hold the snow plus workers and equipment. Do not pile snow on roof.
  • Train workers to use fall protection harness and anchor points correctly, use aerial lifts safely, use ladders safely, and avoid electrical power lines.
  • Protect people on the ground from snow and ice falling off the roof during removal operations.

Learn more about Safety Tips for Removing Snow from Rooftops.

Written By:


Manager of Safety/Health, Department of Labor Standards

Tags:

Recent Posts

Law Enforcement and Recreationalists: Be Aware of Lead Hazards at Shooting Ranges posted on Oct 24

Law Enforcement and Recreationalists: Be Aware of Lead Hazards at Shooting Ranges

Each year there are shooters, instructors, and maintenance staff that become sick from lead poisoning received at their firing range.

Lead Poisoning in Adults posted on Oct 22

Lead Poisoning in Adults

The Occupational Lead Poisoning Registry is dedicated to reducing the incidence and severity of lead poisoning among Massachusetts workers. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has shown that even at very low levels, such as 5 micrograms per deciliter (mcg/dl), lead can cause significant health problems.

MA Regulation Requires Contractors to Work Lead-Safe by Preventing the Spread of Lead Dust During Renovation, Repair, and Painting Projects posted on Oct 17

MA Regulation Requires Contractors to Work Lead-Safe by Preventing the Spread of Lead Dust During Renovation, Repair, and Painting Projects

Homes and other structures built before 1978 may contain lead paint. Lead-contaminated dust can cause lead poisoning in children, pregnant women, contractors, and other workers, their families, and even pets.