Roofs - working safely on

Planning a safe approach to a job can help identify and manage the risks associated with any work on a roof.

We have produced guidance on working safely on roofs. 

 

Best practice guidelines for working on roofs

These guidelines provide guidance on managing hazards when working on roofs.  It also includes controls to prevent falls from roofs and the use of safety equipment.

Working on roofs

Roofers using chainsaws

This fact sheet provides guidance on safer alternatives when measuring and cutting roofing battens, chainsaw safety features and the personal protective equipment you need.

Roofers using chainsaws (PDF 354 KB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

The safe installation of roof trusses

This fact sheet provides guidance on how to reduce the need for working at height as much as possible through prefabrication, or providing safe working platforms or safety nets where prefabrication is not possible. It also provides guidance on erecting trusses safely.

The safe installation of roof trusses (PDF 2.6 MB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Caution – Ceiling battens do not provide fall protection

This fact sheet emphasises the importance of not using ceiling battens as a method of fall protection when working on the roofing structure of buildings. 

Caution – Ceiling battens do not provide fall protection (PDF 417 KB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Be safe working on roofs

This fact sheet features a checklist for working safely on a roof and provides guidance on how to control hazards, including edge protection, and eliminating or isolating the hazard of a fall from a roof.

Be safe working on roofs (PDF 294 KB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Roof inspection and measurement

This fact sheet provides guidance on conducting inspections remotely, finding a safe place to carry out the work, built in fall-protection systems, and safety measures to consider if you cannot avoid going onto a roof.

Roof inspection and measurement  (PDF 466 KB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Roof restoration and maintenance: Working at heights

This fact sheet provides guidance on deciding which hazard controls to use (for example, eliminate, isolate or minimise), It discusses alternatives to going onto a roof and options if this is not practicable for the job. It also considers hazard controls for short-duration and long-duration work.

Roof restoration and maintenance

Preventing falling through when recladding roofs or installing purlins and tile support systems

This fact sheet provides guidance on practicable measures to prevent an internal fall into the building, as well as measures you can take to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall for everyone working on the structure where it is not practicable to prevent a fall. It also discusses how to install purlins safely.

Preventing falling through when recladding roofs or installing purlins and tile support systems (PDF 1.2 MB)

While this guidance has not been updated to reflect current work health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and regulations), it may still contain relevant information and practices to keep workers and others healthy and safe.

Please read this guidance in conjunction with all relevant industry standards that apply to you as a PCBU. This guidance will be progressively reviewed and either updated, replaced with other guidance, or revoked.

Frequently asked questions

For low-risk, short-duration tasks, scaffolding or a harness is unlikely to be required.

Podium ladders, light weight mobile work platforms, fall arrest soft land systems and safety nets or mesh in addition to harnesses and scaffolding.

Measures selected need to be proportionate to the risk.

No. At no time is any person to stand on or work from an external wall top plate without suitable fall protection. This must be considered as part of your planning for a safe approach to working at height.

If prefabrication of the roof structure is not possible and trusses are assembled in situ, a safe working platform (such as scaffold) should be provided around the perimeter of the framing.

Measures to prevent or mitigate the distance of a fall must also be provided internally. This can be achieved by providing a working platform immediately beneath the underside of the trusses. 
Either conventional scaffolding, or (if appropriate) proprietary decking systems can be used. The use of safety mesh or other safety rated products that can span across the top of the framing can also be used.

Alternatively, if a safe internal working platform cannot be provided, safety nets can be used if a safe clearance distance below the net and a suitable fixing point can be achieved. 

Alternatives to nets are soft landing systems such as bean bags or air bags. In some circumstances safe clearance distance can be achieved by locating bracing of the framing on the outside of the structure.