WHAT DO YOU NEED IN A ROOF SAFETY HARNESS KIT?
This is a great question and the answer will largely depend upon what work you are doing, where you are doing it and for how long. In general a standard roof harness kit will come with the following equipment:
- Full body fall arrest harness
- 15m rope line with adjuster and inline shock absorber
- attachment sling
- carry bag
This is a basic roof safety harness kit that will allow you to conduct basic working at heights tasks when there is a properly designed and certified height safety system onsite. This may consist of anchor points, static lines or rail system. But type of kit limits what you can do if there is not a system in place. If this is the case, this is where you might want to consider customising your roof safety kit to suit your particular work.
CREATING YOUR OWN ROOF HARNESS KIT
The first step in creating your own personal roof safety harness kit is to consider the fall arrest harness. Most roofers kits come with a pretty basic harness that has no padding and the old style connection buckles. These are fine if you only use your harness once in a blue moon or if you only wear it for a limited amount of time, say an hour at a time. But if you are wearing it for extended periods of time or need to get in and out of it regularly then upgrading your harness is a must. There are a range of harnesses to choose from that will provide additional comfort and support. These better quality harnesses also come with quick release buckles that allow you to properly fit and adjust it easily and allows you to get in and out of it quickly.
Once you have decided on what roof harness kit you want, you need to consider what type of work you will be doing and what you will be attaching to. This is where you may need to consider some temporary anchor points. Depending upon what types of surfaces you will be working on there is a range of temporary roof anchor points to choose from. As part of this you may wish to consider adding a temporary rope line to your kit. This can be a great option when you are needing to move along a horizontal edge.
Next you need to consider what you will be doing and what type of movement you will need. You have the choice of standard 2m lanyards, twin tail lanyards, retractable lanyards or rope lines. The fall arrest rope lines come in 15m 20m of 30m lengths. We can also have specially made rope lines up to 50m if you require. In general though, a 15m to 30m one with an inline shock absorber and adjuster will be fine.
The last consideration and perhaps one of the most important is the rescue kit.
CHOOSING A HEIGHT SAFETY RESCUE KIT
While it is a legal requirement that when using fall arrest equipment to control the risk of a fall that you must have a rescue kit onsite and have a trained rescue person overseeing the works, it is not an event that you ever want to have happen. Buying a rescue kit is like buying insurance. You never hope you need to use it but you must have it just in case. If you have to perform a rescue it means something has gone terribly wrong. The entire point of how you design a fall arrest system and what methods of attachment you should use and ensuring that everyone has been inducted in this method is to ensure that there is not a fall. So if there is a fall, then either there has been a failure of equipment or human error. If everything has been designed correctly and everyone inducted into the safe method of work then there should really never be the need to conduct a rescue.
That being said, because we are all human and mistakes and accidents happen, we need to prepare for this as well. There are many different types of rescue kits on the market today. Which one you choose will depend upon what type of work you are doing and what experience you and your team have. If we just look at general working at heights when conducting roof work, then the best type of system is one that is quick and easy to use. In our experience we have found the Miller SafEscape to be all that and more. It really is the most easy to use system that we have found. The system has a central hub that has a ratio of 10:1 with connection karabiners at the top of the unit as well as the end of the rope line. The system is as simple as connecting the hub end to an anchor point or solid structure and the other end to the fallen worker. Once attached you can lift them up by winding the hub wheel. Once the weight has been taken off their rope line you can lock off the system by inserting the rope line into the hub braking system. This allows you to take your hands off the unit and disconnect the person from their rope line. Once completed you can then safely lower them to the ground.
If you can’t lower them to the ground and you have to bring them back up onto the roof, this can prove very difficult if you are by yourself. You will need at least two other workers to help lift the fallen worked over the edge of the roof. This is why it is so important to plan your rescue prior to starting work. Obviously if during the planning stage you discover you can’t lower the victim to the ground but have to raise them up, then you would need to ensure you had other workers with you. It is this type of planning that when completed prior to starting work will help identify any potential risks and hopefully allow you to eliminate them and the threat of a fall.
For further information on any of our roof safety harness kits, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.