The above topic of roof safety is of course relevant to all involved in our industry and paramount in the thinking managers and supervisors responsible for carrying our roof installations. It is equally important to those who visit roof installations albeit occasionally, to assess and inspect these installations.
Following on from providing the most recent HSE statistics last month concerning fatalities and injuries within the construction industry I would like to draw your attention to the work of the ACR (Advisory Committee for Roofsafety). I was invited to attend a meeting of this committee representing SPRA as a member of ACR, recently. Representatives from major associations and trade bodies are part of this group, including the HSE. The HSE founded the group in 1998.
The ACR has been working for many years to develop a number of guidance documents associated with roofsafety and good practice. This is an impressive body of work undertaken by trade associations and their contractors to help in guiding all who in the course of their work find themselves on a rooftop. As described in the association’s website, ‘The ACR has defined the UK’s only test, recognised by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), which determines the non-fragility status of roofing products; producing publications about safe working practices on both fragile and non-fragile surfaces and other roof safety issues.’
I was impressed with the discussion among members of a technical and practical nature regarding key safety issues on roofs. It was clear that a great deal of experience had come together to form this important association over the last twenty years or so.
Since the group’s formation key documentation has been developed relating to roof safety guidance. This is now formed into a suite of publications (ACR Guidance Documents) listed below. These are colour coded by the ACR for easy reference:
ACR Guidance Documents
Red Book: Test for non-fragility of Profile d Sheeting and Large Element Roofing Assemblies – (rev May 2019)
Green Book: Safe Working on Fragile Roofs – (rev Apr 2022)
Orange Book: Recommended Practice for Work on Profiled Sheeted Roofs – (rev Dec 2019)
Orange Book Commentary (rev Dec 2019)
Blue Book: Recommended Practice for the Use of Safety Nets for Roofwork – any issues
Black Book: Guidance Note for Competence and General Fitness Requirements to Work on Roofs – (rev Mar 2021)
Purple Book: Practical Methods of Providing Edge Protection for Working on Roofs – (rev Nov 2019)
Magenta Book pt 1: Best Practice for the Use of Horizontal Safety Lines in Roofwork – (rev Oct 2020)
Magenta Book pt 2: Testing of Roof Anchors on Roof Systems – (rev Oct 2020)
Brown Book: Handling Roof Materials – not published
No 1 Client Guide – (rev Mar 2022)
No 2 Solar Collectables – (rev Apr 2022)
No 3 Minor Roofworks – (rev Jun 2022)
No 4 EN 795 – (rev May 2019)
These documents are available through the ACR website (www.the-acr.org). The ACR has invested in this website to make additional roofsafety information more readily accessible. This can only be a positive force in the continual battle to tackle fatalities and injuries associated with roofwork.
SPRA continues to promote the highest standards of safety when involved in roofwork. Consistent review of safety issues is essential to ensure that best practice is employed protecting workers and the general public.
Dr Ronan Brunton B.Sc MBA GMICE, Technical Manager