• Height Safety Blog

Benefits of Having a Roofers Kit Onsite

In 2019, an employee of a Queensland roofing company fell through a skylight suffering a 5 meters fall , resulting in brain injury. The worker’s employer was fined $50,000, guilty of poor safety measures including working without fall prevention devices. In 2021 in two separate incidents, workers were seriously injured when they fell while working on skylights, each falling approximately six meters through a roof (WorkSafe Queensland, 2021).  

Working at heights presents an ever-present danger of fall, particularly roof repair or maintenance. A Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) in turn has an ever-present duty of care to establish an effective fall arrest system, and providing a standard roofers kit is a sound starting point. 

Statistics on Roof height accidents 

According to a National Coronial Information System (NCIS) report regarding home maintenance in Australia, there were 100 reported deaths in 2021 that were related to roof maintenance, 71% of these fatalities were falls from height. Between June 2014 and January 2020, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland recorded 173 cases of falls from height either from the roof or through a ceiling. Overall, 11% of workers’ fatalities and 23% of serious workplace injury claims are the result of falling from heights (Safe Work Australia, 2020).

Workplace Standard 

Roofer kits may be considered a constant in the industry, but workplace safety goes beyond that. The 2011 Work and Health Safety Regulation standardised the control measures and responsibilities undertaken by PCBUs. Eliminating risks, implementing administrative and engineering controls, and satisfying technical requirements suitable to the type of work are all part of the duties necessary to work at heights. 

Why is it better to have a Roofers Kit onsite? 

Efficient Roof Access and Height Work 

With a roofers kit, a worker is supplied all the essentials for safe work on a roof , including a safety harness, shock absorbing lanyard, anchors, and tethering lines; equipment capable of saving a person from injury in a fall. Better performance is expected when there is mobility and confidence in movement. Working time may also be shortened when the Roofers Kit is used and installed correctly. This means limiting the incidence for accidents to happen, minimising exposure to height replated risks found in roofs.

Safeguard Yourself with Trusted Equipment 

Once on the roof, workers will be better off with equipment they are familiar with, each worker with their own Roofers Kit. A roofers kit is designed to facilitate workers’ safety while working from heights.

Mitigate Risks of Injuries or Casualty 

The injury of the Queensland employee could have been minimized if not completely avoided and the overall risk significantly reduced if the worker had the proper height safety equipment. Safety harnesses tethered by shock absorbing lanyard to a suitable anchor point will provide risk mitigation for work on fragile surfaces.

Common fragile material roofs are made of:

  • asbestos roofing sheets (beware of respiratory risks beyond the scope of roofers kits, use a half-mask or respirator appropriate for the job)

  • poly carbonate or plastic commonly used in skylights

  • fiber cement sheets

  • liner panels on built-up sheeted roofs

  • metal sheets and fasteners (especially when corroded) 

Preventing Fines and Jail Term 

PCBU’s can be fined $50,000 or more and punitive action may include imprisonment if proved negligently non-compliant to Workplace Health and Safety regulations. The contractor, Charman Australia Pty Ltd was fined $450,000, when a roof plumber fell seven meters, no fall prevention system had been in place. This fine was ordered in Western Australia under the new penalty regime enacted in October 2018, infringement of workplace safety regulations there can result in penalties of up to $2 million in fines. It is reasonable to anticipate that other States might follow this type of punitive action.

A worker equipped with a Roofers Kit (and suitable anchor point regime), mitigates fall from height risks associated with working on a roof. 

Check out LINQ Roofer Kits here.