Any reputable commercial roofing contractor knows that safety is of the utmost importance on the job site. When a project is underway at your facility it is wise to monitor the safety practices of all hired trades people. Refer to the following guidelines, informed by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to ensure that your contractors are taking safety seriously. Attached you will also find a printable Roofing Safety Checklist to utilize on your next project to ensure your employees and trades are following all job site commercial roofing safety protocols to industry standards.


Use the roofing safety checklist above to help make sure you are following the proper occupational safety measures on your roofing project. This is not an authoritative and comprehensive safety checklist, so make sure to also cross-reference with OSHA guidelines to be sure you are in line with all safety requirements. Also make sure all employees on your job site have received the proper roofing safety training, and are aware of all of the appropriate safety measures they need to follow.

Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Job site conditions will dictate the type of PPE required by workers on your commercial roofing project. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • An ANSI-approved hard hat in good condition where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, falling or flying objects, or electrical shock and burns
  • Safety glasses or face shields when cutting metal and other materials or working with chemical substances
  • Hearing protection when indicated
  • Heavy boots or work shoes with toe protection and non-slip soles
  • Gloves that fit snugly and are appropriate for the task at hand
  • Respiratory system suitable to protect workers from airborne hazards
  • Personal Fall Arrest System

Material Handling

The job site needs to be properly secured to maintain a safe work environment.  The work area needs to be flagged with warning lines, high visibility signage and barricades when indicated. All roofing materials need to be stored at least 10 feet from open building perimeters. If forklifts are being used, all operators must be trained and certified. The forklifts need to be inspected, free from defects, and in safe operating condition.

Fall Protection

Protecting workers from roof falls is perhaps the most important aspect of roof safety. An edge warning system is required when working on a low slope roof without parapet walls of at least 42” and no present or practical guardrails. The edge warning line should consist of ropes, wires, or chains, and supporting stanchions. It also needs to be erected no less than 6 feet from the roof edge and no less than 10 feet when mechanical equipment is used. The edge warning system should be flagged at least every 6 feet with high-visibility material.

If an employee is working outside of the safety warning line for any reason, they should be properly tied off to a personal fall arrest system, and have received fall protection training. Make sure you always have the proper fall protection equipment on any roofing project. A personal fall arrest system is the most essential piece of fall protection equipment for the construction industry, and cannot be ignored.

Ladders & Scaffolding

The contractors should be inspecting their ladders and scaffolding for visible defects on a regular basis, as well as after any occurrence that could affect their performance. Each worker should be trained on how to recognize hazards related to ladders and scaffolding and follow procedures to minimize those hazards. Secure footing for all ladders is important. Ladders and scaffolding must be used only on stable and level surfaces unless they are secured to prevent accidental displacement.

Cranes & Lifts

Cranes & Lifts should be operated only by employees ages 18 and older who have had the appropriate safety training and licensing. All equipment must meet standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and must be operated according to the manufacturer’s specifications and load charts.  All equipment should be inspected each day. When equipment is not in operation, it should be parked and locked with lifts down and brakes engaged. Fall protection equipment should also be used whenever necessary while using lifts and cranes.

Fire Safety

Safeguarding the job site from fire hazards is vital to roof safety. Fire extinguishers need to be nearby, fully charged with the pins in place. First aid kits supplied with burn kits should be fully stocked and readily available. All gasses and flammable liquids need to be stored in approved safety canisters. All compressed gas containers should be properly stored, upright and secure. All hot work needs to take place 20 feet or more from combustible materials and an attendant needs to be nearby. Finally, the proper use of grounded construction-rated hand and power tools along with appropriate electrical safety is key to job site safety. Taking these safety measures could save the lives of everyone working on the project.

For high-quality construction with an unwavering focus on the worker, job site, and building occupant safety in Atlanta and the surrounding areas, consider Innovative Roofing Group. Call us at 404-351-8797 to learn more about our comprehensive roofing and sheet metal services.

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