The coastal towns of Weston-super-Mare, Portishead, Clevedon and Nailsea can often mean cold, bitter winds and a more exposed environment. We take a look at the precautions South West roofers need to take when working in winter.

Wear the right clothing

It’s cold outside and it can be even colder up on a roof! Make sure you are wearing the right PPE and extra clothes suitable for the job and the weather conditions. This usually involves using several layers of clothing, as well as waterproofs or wind resistant fabrics where necessary. Also, choose water resistant footwear, with enhanced slip resistance or ice grips if required. Ensure that you are wearing gloves when fine manual dexterity is not required, especially when the temperature drops below 4°C.

Protect yourself

Cold weather increases the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome, so keep hands and arms warm when using vibratory equipment such as drills, nail guns and even hand tools, such as hammers. Choose hats that work with safety headgear and don’t compromise on eye or hearing protection.

Know the signs of cold exposure

When you are outside working all day, it can be hard to spot the signs of a problem or to dismiss it as something like a cold, or being tired. Be aware of the symptoms of cold exposure – heavy shivering, uncomfortable coldness, numbness, aching, severe fatigue, confusion, drowsiness and /or euphoria. Make sure that you take breaks in heated areas and drink plenty of fluids, including water and warm beverages.

South West Roofers be seen!

In the winter, it is dark in the morning and it gets dark as early as 4pm. On cold, damp and grey days it can get dark even sooner. With reduced daylight hours, visibility can be a problem, so be sure to wear reflective PPE. It is important that you can be seen, even if it is just walking from your van to the property. It may be that you have to step out in the road to look up at a roof! Be careful.

Don’t take unnecessary risks

If you spot something that you are not happy with then be sure to report any hazardous areas to the site manager. You also need to assess the weather. High winds and adverse, icy conditions can be dangerous for South West roofers. Do not put yourself at risk to complete a job.

Please be cautious of the conditions that weather brings. Make sure you are highly visible, remember that there is likely to be ice and dress appropriately for the time of year. If you are uncomfortable with the environment then make sure you raise it with a site manager and generally make sure that you stay safe this winter.