As we get closer and closer to the winter the weather is getting worse and worse. The wind has been crazy in the last few days and when you add the rain to this as well, you are potentially faced with some very hazardous working conditions…
Health and Safety Executive directives state that you should always anticipate bad weather conditions and have measures in place to deal with them. We are spoilt by good weather throughout the summer and this makes it very easy to forget about how hard the bad weather can make things. Sunshine, long days and great working conditions quickly become a habit and, when any bad weather comes in, it’s so short lived that the disruption to your work is minimal.
In the Winter…
During the Winter, however, things are not so good. You may find yourself having to work in windy conditions because you have no choice. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that you won’t get anything done if you keep avoiding it! The important things to consider are laid out in a table known as the Beaufort Scale (see below). HSE states that the maximum wind speed you should consider working in are as follows:
– laying or handling of sheets longer than 5m = 17mph average (with 26mph gusts)
– handling of slates, tiles, battens and felt roofing = 23mph average (with 35mph gusts)
– handling felt and hot bitumen = 23mph (with 35mph gusts)
– laying mastic asphalt = 23mph
This list is by no means exhaustive but gives you an idea of the sort of conditions to look out for. Ultimately your safety, and that of your staff, is your responsibility so don’t take any risks.
The Beaufort Scale
Here’s a table illustrating what you should look out for. It has been taken directly from the HSE website. Use it as a guide when you’re assessing whether you can get onto a roof.
You can also find more information on the NFRC website. Click here
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