DIY Roof Safety

A sloped roof is a dangerous place to work, so tie yourself up there. Take a length of strong rope – strong enough to support your weight – and tie one end to a stout anchor, such as a large tree or veranda column for instance, on the opposite side of the house to the one on which you’re working.

Fling the other end over the roof and once you are up there, tie the rope around your waist so that even if you do slip, you won’t fall to the ground and injure yourself.

Some words of caution, however:

  1. Do not tie the end of the rope to any vehicle – your family could forget where you are and decide to take the vehicle out for a drive.
  2. Do not get on the roof if it looks like lightning. If lightning does strike, you might be in the path. Incidentally, if lightning is about, and your hair stands on end (as a result of static electricity) you are in great danger. Get down and under cover immediately.
  3. Do not wear loose-fitting footwear or a pair with soles of a material that do not grip well. Wear footwear that fastens securely, and has rubber soles or similar that give your feet a good purchase on the roofing material – be it tiles or corrugated iron.
  4. Do not step just anywhere on a roof. Certain roofing materials might not take an adult’s weight in an unsupported area. Place your weight where it will be supported by the timbers below the roofing material – so step on areas where the roofing material is fixed in place with roofing fasteners.
  5. Warn others to stay out of the way directly below where you’re working. You might drop a tool, which could cause an injury if it hits anyone.

The information provided here has been approved by a practicing physician, but it is provided as a guide. Hence, in all medical emergencies, incidents or accidents, if in ANY doubt whatsoever as to the severity of the injury to the patient, seek medical and/or paramedic assistance.’

What to do when calling for medical assistance:

  1. Provide your name, telephone number and your physical address where the emergency has occurred.
  2. Give a brief description of what has happened and the result… ’My husband fell of a ladder and is unconscious.’
  3. Do not hang up until the operator tells you to – he or she might need further information from you.
  4. Send a family member to the road outside so that they can attract the attention of the medical team – every second lost when they are looking for the address could be vital.