Ladder access to roof of large commercial building

Over the years, we have learned more from our contractors on proper installation and waterproofing techniques than any other source. Roof safety is no different. Whether you are a commercial roofing professional that accesses roofs daily or you are a facility manager or property owner, the guidelines below are important to follow.

Take Precautionary Steps for Roof Safety

Before you ever get on your roof, there should already be a few steps you follow to ensure your safety:

  • Have a Plan: Know where you want to go, what you want to look at or repair, and know the layout of the roof. Having a plan will keep you focused.
  • Design for Safety: Installing roof features such as a roof hatch, a walkway system, and permanent guardrails will all help to keep everyone on your roof safe for years to come.
  • Ladder Safety: Most roofing accidents that occur have something to do with ladder safety. Click here to review the following guidelines posted by OSHA. Don’t forget to securely tie the ladder off before accessing the roof!

Once on the Roof

Once you’ve planned what you want to accomplish on the roof and put all safety equipment in place, what else can you do to further ensure your safety while on the roof?

  • Wear Proper Footwear: As you walk around your roof, keeping a good footing is key to safety. Don’t wear flip-flops, or old tennis shoes with poor grip, or shoes that don’t fit properly. This sounds obvious, but we see it time and again and it’s a real hazard.
  • Utilize Safety Equipment: Whatever safety equipment you have installed on your roof, use it! If you have walkways, stay on them. If you have tie-off anchors and are working near the edge of the roof, tie yourself off. It takes time, but it’s worth it.
  • Know Where You Are: A big hazard on roofs is walking looking down at a tool or checklist, forgetting where you are, and getting too close to the edge. Always know where you’re at on the roof. One way to do this is to bring a safety monitor onto the roof with you whose sole responsibility is to watch everyone who is working and make sure they are safe.
  • Wet Surfaces: During a roof coating installation obviously wet coatings can be a hazard but accessing a roof after a rain or morning dew can also be risky.  When a coating is wet (especially silicone) from rain or dew the surface can be slippery.  It is very important to wear proper shoes and walk carefully.  Roof granules can be added to the top coat to form walk paths that will take care of this issue.


At American WeatherStar, we strongly encourage our contractors and employees to make safety a top priority. Following the guidelines listed above can go a long way toward ensuring the well-being of your workers. For more information, click here to connect with your American WeatherStar Field Representative.