Safe Rooftop Snow Removal

Heavy snow and ice are an inconvenient part of winters in many regions of the US. Blizzard conditions can dump two feet or more of snow, plaguing motorists and keeping plow crews busy. Another hazard heavy snow brings is potential damage to roofs, especially when the snow is saturated with water. 

Cold temperatures, power lines, wind, and decreased visibility make rooftop snow removal a dangerous chore. Here are some tips from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Before beginning, look for power lines; do not use a roof rake anywhere near the power lines
  • Don’t work alone
  • Dress for the weather
  • Mark a safe work zone on the ground in the area where snow is to be removed
  • Wear eye and face protection, especially when removing ice
  • Use snow rakes or drag lines from the ground when possible
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions on the equipment you’re using
  • If ascending a ladder, be aware that snow and ice, including snow and ice on boots, make rungs slippery
  • Position ladders at the correct angle and maintain three points of contact
  • Do not use a roof rake or shovel while on a ladder
  • Be careful around icicles as the bigger they are, the heavier they are
  • Do not overexert yourself
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