By their very nature, all construction projects involve significant risk. Whilst the construction industry is steadily improving, its rates of ill health, severe injury and deaths are still the highest of all UK industries. Sadly, almost 1 in 5 deaths in construction occur during work on roofs. It is essential in every project that risks are carefully assessed and, where they cannot be designed out, a mitigation strategy is properly planned and implemented.
In this article, we’ll look at the risks involved with roof refurbishment, the relevant regulations that apply and how Garland UK can help you mitigate or eliminate those risks from your project.
Mitigating Risk in Roof Refurbishment
The first risk that should be considered is the structural stability of the existing building itself. Unlike a new build project, where the structure has been specifically designed to accommodate the chosen roofing option, a detailed structural survey is essential in a refurbishment.
This allows the existing building to be fully understood and can accommodate the structural load of the new roof. Importantly for all roofing work, it is necessary to assess the fragility of the existing roofing surface and roof deck. We recently highlighted the historical use of structurally unsound RAAC roof decks, which created exactly the type of structural risk that should be taken into account.
Working at Height
For a roof refurbishment to take place, it is necessary for both assessment and construction work to take place at heights and a worthy consideration for mitigating risk. This creates the risk of falls occurring, a serious risk to people working on the roof and to people below from falling tools and materials.
Areas that are at high risk include:
- Edges and openings
- Trip and slip hazards
- Fragile surfaces
- Pitched Surfaces