How to Inspect Your Residential Roofer's Kit

In many ways, the residential roofing industry has not changed in some time. Hammers, nail guns, and staplers are still the primary tools. However, where the industry has changed is in keeping roofers safer while they work. Residential roofers’ kits provide workers with a complete personal fall arrest system. Inspecting your roofer’s kit to make sure that it is functioning properly is essential for keeping workers safer at height.  Below are general guidelines to use when inspecting your residential roofer’s kit.

General Guidelines

  • Read all instructions, warnings, and requirements for your roofer’s kit.
  • Per OSHA, a Competent or Qualified Person must train employees in the safe use of the kit and its components before using a personal fall arrest system.
  • Per OSHA and ANSI, users must have a rescue plan and the means to implement it. This plan must provide prompt employee rescue or assure that employees have the ability to rescue themselves in the event of a fall.
  • Prior to each use, inspect all personal fall arrest system equipment for damage. Defective components must be removed from service immediately per OSHA.
  • Most roofing kits are designed for use by one person only.
  • Find the maximum capacity listed on the label and do not exceed this weight. Remember to include the weight of tools!
  • Anchor points must support 5,000-pounds or provide a 2:1 safety factor.
  • Calculate fall clearance and swing fall clearance.
  • Always check for obstructions below the work area to make sure potential fall path is clear.
  • If a fall occurs, your roofer’s kit must be removed from service per OSHA. Check the user manual to see if the equipment can be repaired or if it must be destroyed immediately.
  • Per OSHA, connection to anchor point must be a locking type snap hook and designed for making such a connection.

Before each use, inspect your residential roofing kit according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An OSHA defined Competent Person other than the user must perform annual inspections. A Qualified Person should inspect all equipment on a regular basis. Perform the following procedures if applicable to your kit:

  • Inspect labels for presence and legibility.
  • Inspect equipment for damaged parts, rough or sharp edges, loose or missing parts, or signs that the kit has been subjected to a fall arrest. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer.
  • Inspect each side of any webbing and stitches thoroughly for tears, fraying, or broken stiches.
  • Ensure that the carabiner operates freely and that its gate is seated properly.

Other Helpful Information

  • Clean all of the equipment according to the user manual.
  • Use caution when working near moving machinery, electrical hazards, sharp edges, or abrasive surfaces.
  • Do not tie knots in lifelines and keep them clean.
  • If the kit requires a rope grab, do not use the kit if the rope grab does not lock onto the lifeline.
  • Only the manufacturer or entities authorized in writing by the manufacturer may make repairs to the product. Otherwise, equipment must not be altered in any way.

Always follow the user manual that comes with your roofer’s kit. Daily inspecting your residential roofer’s kit will help maintain its important safety purpose: to help keep you safer when working at height.

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Nathan Muller

Senior Technical Writer |
Nathan Muller is the Senior Technical Writer for Spanco and Rigid Lifelines. Nathan has nearly four years of experience in technical communications and copyediting. He graduated from Bob Jones University with a B.A. in English and a minor in Professional Writing. He is also a member of the Society of Technical Communication.