Health and Safety in Roofing
Mental Wellbeing and Safety
Mental health is a vital safety issue for roofing. People in the construction sector are known to be at twice the risk of suicide compared to the rest of the workforce (refer to research here). RANZ has established via partnership with InStep, an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for RANZ Members, a best-practise response to enable employee access to an extensive national network of qualified professionals to support people through times of struggle (for more information, email email@example.com or to look to become a member see the link here).
RANZ also encourages engagement with the MATES in Construction mental health initiatives - free phone 0800 111 315.
The bottom line is - we all face ups and downs and times of struggle - it's more than ok to reach out for help when we need it - it is in fact a strong and courageous act to do so.
Sprains and strains prevention are an area where there is huge potential for improvement and positive gains to be made for both our roofing people and businesses. RANZ is partnering with CHASNZ to help raise awareness and education in this area - see here.
Your installer is required under law, to comply with the requirements of the Health & Safety Work Act (HSWA). Protection of workers when working at height is mandatory under the Act and essential for their personal safety and safety of others on the site. Doing nothing is not an option.
WorkSafe guidelines available set out safety requirements -
- MBIE Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand; and
- MBIE Best Practice Guidelines for Working on Roofs
These guidelines can be viewed or downloaded from the WorkSafe website: www.worksafe.govt.nz
Access and Fall Protection in Residential Construction
RANZ and SARNZ (Scaffold Access Rigging New Zealand) have produced a guideline for Access and Fall Protection in Residential Construction.
These are available for purchase from RANZ. Please contact the RANZ office to get your copy.
SARNZ also have highly relevant resources on powerline safety available - see here.
Health and Safety Protection Equipment Installation
Installation of health & safety protection equipment is a cost to the property owner which may include (but not limited to) edge protection or scaffolding. The installation company should advise you of what health & safety equipment is required for your particular job. This information should be clearly detailed on the written quotation/contract.
REFER TO THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION FACT SHEET PUBLISHED BY WORKSAFE:
Information for contractors, developers, property owners, clients, and homeowners -
If work on your building involves work at height, contractors need to ensure the right safety steps are in place before the work starts. If you cannot see them, ask your contractor for them.
WorkSafe is running a programme to reduce the number of injuries and deaths that result from falls from height in New Zealand construction.
More than half the falls reported to the WorkSafe from the construction sector occur from less than three metres, and most of these falls are from ladders and roofs. The cost is estimated at $24 million each year.
Everyone must ensure that they are safe when working at height. This includes selecting the right equipment for working safely at height, for example edge protection, scaffolding, using a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), or a total restraint system.
WorkSafe has made it clear to the construction sector that doing nothing is not an option.
If you are a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU) on a building site, you have additional responsibilities as outlined by HSWA. Check the WorkSafe website for more information about your responsibilities.
You should expect to see an explanation of how safety will be achieved when engaging a contractor for work that will be carried out at height. This may include quotes and method statements that set out safe work procedures and details of safety equipment.
Contractors who choose to work unsafely are at risk of seriously injuring themselves and their workers. Health and safety inspectors will stop any work at height until they are satisfied that it can be achieved safely. This may affect work on your building, so make sure the contractor is doing the right thing at the beginning.
If you become aware that safety controls are omitted on a quote, you need to be both legally and morally accepting of that omission. If a business does not care about their staff enough that they choose to put them at risk-is that a business you want working on your site?
WorkSafe's website is: www.worksafe.govt.nz, or phone 0800 030 040