Roof top safety

Hey all,

It might be sort of off topic, but I figure there has to be some knowledgeable folks in here on such topics.

Given our hilly terrain, roof installs are fairly common. Up until now we’ve basically climbed on anything we felt was safe, but the parent company wants us to make sure we’re doing things right and I’m in charge of defining our guidelines and making sure we fit regulations.

How often do you break out the harnesses and put anchors on roofs? Other kinds of fall protection? Provincial regulations (up here in B.C., Canada) seem fairly vague for the kind of stuff we do, and seem more geared towards construction/roofers who are up there for hours or days at a time. While safety is always worthwhile (an argument I can’t go against) I could probably have a dish bolted down by the time I bolt an anchor into place. Is it more of a common sense and good judgement thing? One of our “neighbour” WISP’s will climb anything (seen their terrabeam equipment 40 feet up on a spruce tree once) and another WISP won’t go higher than an eave. I guess we’ve been in the middle at this point.

Any advice? I guess I’m just trying to figure out what’s “normal” in this biz.


Steve D

I’ll climb anything where I feel there is a low likelihood of killing myself. This sometimes includes trees, and super steep roofs. The only time we use a harness or any safety equipment is on towers.

same here, in our case its a judgment call. I have had a few installers make the call to not go on a certain roof where other installers dont have that problem with that roof. However insurance changes dramatically when your feet leave the ground or ladder.

I think the common sense rules apply here. If you don’t think you can climb a structure safely, simply don’t climb it.

The installs that bother me the most are the tin roofs simply because it can be so hard to get a good foothold on them.

In southern CA sometimes we run into roofs that have moss on them, those ones are tricky.

In most cases its not what we wont do its whats the home owners wont let us do.

We have no issue working on just about any roof. I have only ever harnessed myself on one roof where I had to climb the rope to get up to the top of the roof and then scale down the side. We do however always wear a harness when working high up in trees (50+ft) but we usually outsource it to a local tree company. … aller3.jpg[/img]

Metal roofs covered with pollen are tough this time of year.

Thanks for the input guys.

My basic rule of thumb is serviceability over safety. I look at it from the winter storm point of view, ie would I climb this in a snowstorm to service it, if not, i wont install it, because inevitably it will need service, it will need it during a snow storm, and that will be the one customer willing to pay extra to get right now service.

I install where we get the signal regardless of what it might require to fix it later. If its a major snowstorm they will just have to wait.