Tool Talk Safety – Roofing

Your guide to DIY Roofing!

It is highly recommended to hire a professional roofing company to do this for you, but in the event you decide to do this yourself these are some things to take into consideration. Also good to watch for when you do have a roofing company come in to ensure they are following proper safety protocol.

Article borrowed from


When it comes to installing a roof, safety should be your number-one priority. Skipping good safety practices because they take too much time makes it all the more likely that an accident will happen—so why take that chance?roof-harness

There are many safety issues to consider if you are planning to install your own roof. It’s imperative that you take the proper precautions in order to avoid serious injury or even death. Some of the most important areas to address are:

Work area

Make sure you have a clean, organized work area. Block it off from children and pets. Identify and avoid all site danger areas, such as dangerous power lines, unsafe roof access areas, and underground hazards (such as cesspools and power lines).


Falls account for many serious injuries and deaths in construction. According toProfessional Roofing magazine, an average of 6 roofers die each month in the U.S. from falls. It’s vital to take appropriate steps to minimize your risk of slipping and falling. Some of these include:

  • Never work on a wet roof.
  • Keep your work area as clean of dirt, tools, and debris as possible.
  • Wear safe footwear—soft-soled boots provide the best roof traction.
  • When working on a steeply pitched roof, protect yourself with safety equipment such as a safety harness, net, and guardrails.
  • Set up and climb your ladder properly.
  • Always wear a helmet to protect your head and prevent more serious injury if you fall.

Ladder safety

Use ladders that conform to local codes or are approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the US or Canada’s Centre For Occupational Health and Safety in Canada. Inspect your ladder carefully before use. Don’t use a damaged or makeshift ladder.

Make sure to set up your ladder properly. Place your ladder on solid, level footing (driveways that slope down away from the roof are a serious risk for ladders). Tie your ladder off at the top or secure with a plywood brace. Set your ladder against a solid backing. Very important—extend your ladder 36 inches above the landing or roof eave to provide a secure location to grab when transitioning from the roof to the ladder.

Make sure to climb your ladder safely—always face the ladder, use one rung at a time, never slide down a ladder, and do not overload your ladder. Don’t push a ladder in to “stretch” it because it’s too short; that makes it too steep and unstable. Make sure you don’t have to reach or stretch too far off the ladder.

Never leave ladders unattended. Remove all ladders from your work area every day or lock them together on the ground overnight.

Important: Keep ladders away from electrical wires and boxes at all times! There have been far too many deaths of roofers due to metal ladders set up near electrical wires.

Electrical safety

Electricity can leap or “arc” from a wire to a ladder several feet away. Make sure to use a non-conductive ladder of wood or fiberglass when working near wires. Never touch electrical wires with your hands or tools. Remember that metal materials such as flashing and drip edge should never touch electrical wires.

Important: If it’s necessary to work near electrical wires, call your local power company first. They should inspect the wires and insulate them if necessary.

Hammer safety

When using a hammer, always wear eye protection. Strike nails squarely to reduce the chance of nails flying back at you. Discard damaged hammers with cracked handles or heads. Never strike a hardened steel hammer against another hardened steel object.

Power nail safety

Treat this tool with extreme care. A pneumatic nail gun is basically a weapon. Check the operation of the safety; never tie back or disengage the safety. Only use when the gun is on the material to be fastened. Use a well-lubricated and inspected nail gun. Do not rest the tool against your body to eliminate misfires. Use caution with air power—only use clean, dry compressed air, disconnect the air supply as soon as you are finished, never work on the tool when connected to the air supply, and inspect hoses for breaks or leaks. Keep the tool clean and maintained properly. Never point nail guns at people.

Utility knife safety

Always cut away from your body. Don’t use a dull blade; dull blades have to be forced, increasing the chances of slipping. Replace blades frequently. Retract the blade when storing to reduce the chance of accidental cuts. Remember, always cut away from your body to help prevent injury.

Material handling

When lifting heavy materials, always use your legs, not your back. It can be surprising just how much material must be delivered to and moved around a roofing jobsite! Be sure to carry one bundle at a time—carrying too much fatigues the body and is unsafe on ladders and rooftops. Store material close to the roof—the closer to the roof, the less time and energy wasted retrieving material.

You can find more detailed information on roofing safety through various sources online. Here are just a few you may wish to review:

In the U.S., the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues guidelines for Residential Fall Protection (the use of nets, guardrails, harnesses, etc.). GAF recommends compliance with these guidelines. View their Guidance Document on “Fall Protection in Residential Construction” .

In Canada, Canada’s Centre For Occupational Health and Safety is a valuable resource.

Construction Solutions is a database of information on work hazards and practical control measures to reduce or eliminate those hazards. You’ll find safety tips for roofing, ladder use, and roof demolition.

Tools and Safety Equipment

It is imperative to use the proper tools and safety equipment when installing a roof. Always invest in the right tool for the job.

The tools you will need to install a roof may include, but are not limited to:

  • Air compressor
  • Carpenter’s level
  • Caulking gun
  • Chalk line
  • Chisel
  • Circular saw
  • Clamp
  • Claw hammer
  • Clean-up cloth
  • Combination square
  • Electric drill
  • Finish hammer
  • Framing hammer
  • Hacksaw
  • Hand saw
  • Magnet
  • Nail gun
  • Roofing shovel
  • Saw horse
  • Screwdriver set
  • Seaming pliers
  • Shingle cutter
  • Shingle remover or ripper
  • Staple gun
  • Sturdy ladder(s)
  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Utility knife
  • Wrench set

The safety equipment you will need to install a roof may include, but is not limited to:

  • Eye protection

    roofing kit

    Roofers Kit

  • Guardrails
  • Ladder stabilizer
  • Lanyard
  • Netting
  • Roof anchors
  • Roof brackets
  • Rope
  • Safety harness
  • Scaffolding
  • Work gloves

Special Considerations

If your roof has an extremely steep pitch, it is imperative that you use the proper safety equipment.

You should avoid any work on the roof during extremely hot or cold weather. Roofing in extreme temperatures can lead to damaged shingles or shingles that will not lie or seal properly.

It is important to use the proper installation and repair materials for specific roof types. Failure to do so can lead to expensive roof damage. Always follow the shingle manufacturer’s instructions for the proper products to use on your type of roof.

Not Feeling Up To It?

Don’t trust your biggest asset to just any contractor. Do your research, ask others for recommendations, check reviews.


Happy Roofing 🙂

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Hazards of Baker’s Scaffold

In recent years, several workers have been seriously injured or killed while working with baker’s scaffolds. Baker’s scaffolds, also known as mobile or rolling tower scaffolds, can be very dangerous if not designed, maintained, assembled, and used safely.

Getting on and off a baker’s scaffold can be hazardous, because climbing up its end frame tends to destabilize the scaffold and may cause it to tip over. When a worker climbs the scaffold’s end frame and swings around onto the platform, the scaffold can become unstable. Relatively lightweight scaffolds may not be engineered to resist the potential overturning effect of the worker activity. Workers have fallen off baker’s scaffolds because they lack guardrails. Moving a scaffold with a worker on it increases the risk of falling.

Climbing on a ladder or other object placed on top of the platform is extremely dangerous due to a risk of tipping.


The two standards referenced in the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (ANSI A10.8 — American National Standard for Construction and Demolition Operations — Scaffolding — Safety Requirements and CSA Z797 — Code of Practice for Access Scaffold) provide only minimum safety requirements for the construction, operation, maintenance, and use of baker’s scaffolds and do not address design requirements for ensuring their stability.

Design requirements for baker’s scaffolds are referenced in CSA S269.2 — Access Scaffolding for Construction Purposes. This standard requires the scaffold to resist tipping against two times or more the load exerted on it when a worker accesses, uses, or exits it.

How to reduce the risk of injury when using baker’s scaffolds

  • Purchase heavier-weight scaffolds.
  • Ensure the load a worker exerts on a scaffold while accessing and using it is within the perimeter of the equipment.
    • Provide workers with a safe method to access and exit from the scaffold. Climbing the exterior end frame may cause overturning. For example, some manufacturers now offer scaffolds with hatches in the platform, allowing workers to climb up the inside of the end frame.
    • Increase the scaffold’s base dimension(s) by installing outriggers.
  • Ensure that workers do not put boxes, ladders, or any other equipment on a baker’s scaffold to gain additional height.
  • When required, install guardrails on the work platform.
  • Only stack scaffolds in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Additional bracing may be required.
  • When a scaffold’s height exceeds three times its smaller base dimension, secure the scaffold to a building or structure.
  • Provide workers with the manufacturer’s written instructions, and ensure that they understand and follow them when erecting and working with scaffolds.
  • Regardless of who assembled a scaffold, inspect it before each use and after any modification to ensure that:
    • The scaffold has been erected according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • All the connections between the scaffold parts are secure.
    • The rated capacity of the scaffold will bear the weight placed on it.
    • All required components are in place and are compatible with one another.
    • The scaffold is in good repair.
  • If a scaffold has a worker or a load on it, ensure that it is moved only in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and Section 13.24 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation (Movable Work Platforms — Work Platforms on Wheels).
  • If a scaffold is on wheels, secure it to prevent movement before workers access or stand on the platform.
  • Provide safe work procedures based on the type of the work to be performed.
  • Provide supervision to ensure all workers using the baker’s scaffold are trained in its use and follow safe work procedures.

For more information

WorkSafeBC Prevention Information Line: 604.276.3100 or toll-free 1.888.621.SAFE (7233)


*Repost from WCB

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Tool Talk Safety – Electric Tools


safety matters

There’s a tool for every job, as the saying goes, but if that tool is electrically powered, there’s a right way to use each tool, too. When workers are using electrical tools, make sure:

1. The tool is in good condition. Tools should be designed specifically for the job and cords should be in good condition with no tears, kinks or worn out area.
2. The conditions are right. If workers are outdoors in damp conditions, electrical equipment may not be the safest way to go.
3. The right power source is used. Check that the equipment being used is rated for the source of the electricity that will be powering it.
4. The worker is ready. Workers should be trained on general electrical safety procedures and also on the specifics of the tool they will be using.
5. The worker is protected. Personal protective equipment (PPE) should be provided and used.


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Power Raking and Aerating

Achieving and maintaining a beautiful lawn requires basic lawn care practices such as properly mowing, fertilizing and watering. Ensuring nutrients can reach the soil beneath your grass are also important aspects to keep your lawn looking green. Implementing power raking and aeration allows air and water to penetrate built up grass or thatch and contribute to a healthy looking lawn. A&B Tool Rentals in Vancouver and Surrey carry Lawn Aerators and Power Rakes for rent.

What is Power Raking?power raking

Power raking removes thatch, a tight mat of dead rhizomes, stems and roots, which builds up under the surface of a lawn. Some thatch is beneficial to lawns, but too much blocks water, air and nutrients from reaching the soil. If thatch gets thicker than 1/2 inch deep, the roots grow in the thatch instead of the soil.

aeratingWhat is Aeration?

Aeration involves perforating the soil with small holes to allow air, water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. This helps the roots grow deeply and produce a stronger, more vigorous lawn.

The main reason for aerating is to alleviate soil compaction. Compacted soils have too many solid particles in a certain volume or space, which prevents proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil. Excess lawn thatch or heavy organic debris buried under the grass surface can also starve the roots from these essential elements.

Should You Be Aerating Your Lawn?

One of the most common questions from homeowners is how to determine if they should be aerating their lawn. Your lawn is probably a good candidate for aeration if it:

  • Gets heavy use, such as serving as the neighborhood playground or racetrack. Children and pets running around the yard contribute to soil compaction.
  • Was established as part of a newly constructed home. Often, the topsoil of newly constructed lawns is stripped or buried, and the grass established on subsoil has been compacted by construction traffic.
  • Dries out easily and has a spongy feel. This might mean your lawn has an excessive thatch problem. Take a shovel and remove a slice of lawn about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is greater than one-half inch, aeration is recommended.
  • Was established by sod, and soil layering exists. Soil layering means that soil of finer texture, which comes with imported sod, is layered over the existing coarser soil. This layering disrupts drainage, as water is held in the finer-textured soil. This leads to compacted conditions and poor root development. Aerating breaks up the layering, allowing water to flow through the soil more easily and reach the roots.

Should you be Power Raking your lawn?

If the grass roots grow in thatch, the lawn may not survive hot, dry weather in the summer. Thick layers of thatch provide a home for insects and can result in an uneven, bumpy surface on a lawn, making it hard to mow. Thatch prolongs high humidity for the roots, promoting fungal and bacterial diseases. It builds up in lawns that are heavily fertilized or grow in soil that is poorly aerated or drains poorly. Pesticides used to repel earthworms can also increase the layer of thatch.

Thatch Depth: Power raking is stressful to lawns so you should only do it when the thatch is thicker than 1/2 inch. You can’t see true thatch by examining the top of your lawn. To check for thatch, cut several plugs 2 to 3 inches deep and look for a spongy, reddish-brown mat between the green grass and the soil. The thatch layer resembles felt.

When to Aerate Your Lawn

The best time for aeration is during the growing season, when the grass can heal and fill in any open areas after soil plugs are removed. Ideally, aerate the lawn with cool season grass in the early spring or fall and those with warm season grass in the late spring.

When to Power Rake your lawn

Power rake most grass types in the growing season. Power rake zoysia in the early summer and bluegrass in the early fall. Power rake cool-season grasses in the early fall. Cool-season grasses grow in the spring and fall and include Kentucky bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass. Power rake zoysia grass and Bermuda grass in late spring when the grass is actively growing.

Deep power raking uses vertical tines on a revolving reel to remove thatch and can damage a lawn by removing much of the living turf. Core aeration removes slender plugs from a lawn to relieve compaction from foot traffic and typically causes less damage than power raking. Lawns growing on clay or silty loam or that have a lot of use may benefit from aeration once a year. Loam is soil that has roughly equal amounts of sand, silt and clay. Aeration helps improve the efficiency of irrigation and increases the penetration of soil-applied pesticides.


Contact A&B Tool Rentals for all your lawn care rental needs!

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Tool Talk Safety – Noise

Exposure to noise can cause permanent hearing loss. – It can be irreversible. hearing-protection

Main Points

♦ The following equipment can be harmful to your hearing – compressors, con saws,
breakers, generators etc.
♦ You do not have to be using noisy equipment; you can be affected by someone
working close by.
♦ Exposure to noise may cause, hearing loss, irritation, annoyance and fatigue, lack of
♦ Use a less noisy process if possible
♦ If you have to shout to be heard, then wear ear defenders.
♦ Ensure machinery is fitted with mufflers and that compressor door are closed.
♦ Your first priority should be to reduce noise levels and therefore your exposure to
noise – if this is not possible then hearing protection should be worn.




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Tool Talk Safety – Eye Protection

Main Points Eye-Protection-Safety-First-Sign-S-1320

♦ You must take reasonable care of your own safety and the safety of others.
♦ You have a legal obligation to use eye protection provided in accordance with the
regulations, and you should never enter an area where eye protection is required
unless wearing such.
♦ Ensure eye protection provided fits you comfortably and is suitable for the job.
♦ Look after any eye protection provided. Keep them clean and report any damaged,
lost or unserviceable eye protection immediately.
♦ Even if not carrying out a task with an obvious eye hazard, you may be at risk from
others nearby. Always have your eye protection with you and if any doubt – wear it!
♦ Eye protection only works when worn over the eyes – it is useless worn over the
head or around the neck.
♦ Never watch any welding processes unless wearing suitable eye protection.
♦ Should you get something in your eye, or receive any sort of eye injury, then get a
trained first aider to look at it.
♦ Always consider eye protection when compressed air, hazardous substances,
cartridge fired tools, power tools, power washers, hand tools such as chisels, etc,
are in use.

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Tool Talk Safety – Manual Handling

Manual handlings activated are a significant of injuries in the construction sector. lifting_technique

Main Points

♦ You must take reasonable care of your own safety and the safety of others
♦ The primary aim is to eliminate manual handling so far as is reasonably practicable
(i.e. use mechanical handling).
♦ Where manual handling must be carried out then it must be assessed, and proper
procedures must be used.
♦ Plan deliveries and storage to take into account load sizes, locations and distribution.
♦ Assess all loads: are they heavy, bulky, unstable, difficult to grasp, sharp etc? Size up
the load and, if necessary, make a trial lift by rocking it from side to side and then lifting
it a few inches.
♦ Can you handle the load yourself or do you need assistance?
♦ Wear suitable clothing and PPE such as gloves and safety boots to protect against
cuts, crushed toes etc.
♦ Is there sufficient space, suitable lighting and a clear route to where you are taking the
♦ Do not carry a load that will obscure your vision.
♦ If necessary move loads in stages.

Always use a good handling technique:
1. Stand reasonably close to the load, feet hip width apart with one foot slightly forward
pointing in the direction you’re going.
2. Bend your knees whilst keeping your back straight and get a secure grip on the load.
4. Breathe in before commencing the lift.
5. Carry out the lift smoothly using the legs to take the strain, keeping the back straight,
chin up, and arms close to the body.
6. Step off in the direction the advanced foot is pointing, keeping the load close to the
7. If necessary, stop for rests en-route and avoid any jerky or twisting movements.

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