According to OSHA each year people are seriously injured or killed while performing snow removal from roof tops. Working on a roof can be dangerous anyways, add snow, ice or wind and the danger increases substantially.
OSHA investigators say falls cause the most fatalities during snow removal from roof tops. Other hazards can occur causing amputations, eye injuries, electric shock, frostbite, hyperthermia and over exertion.
In the past 10 years the 16 deaths from roof falls could have been prevented according to OSHA investigations, with proper safety techniques and training.
Removing Snow to Keep Your Roof From Collapsing
Snow removal can prevent roof collapse or is needed so construction crews can perform deck or roof repair. Methods to remove the snow include snow rakes, shovels, and snow blowers, by either standing on the roof, ladder or the ground. It is not wise to use a snow rake while standing on a ladder to remove snow from your roof; this greatly increases your risk of losing your balance and falling.
OSHA suggests using snow removal techniques that do not require you to go on the roof. Use ladders to apply de-icing materials or use snow rakes or drag lines from the ground.
If you or your roofer must go on the roof, evaluate the extra weight for you, your equipment and the extra snow and be sure to use fall safety equipment. Snow removal can be hard work; we tire more easily in cold weather increasing the potential for exhaustion, back injuries or heart attacks.