Buying Roof Safety Gear
The harness is only one part of a personal fall arrest system. It’s called a “system” because all the components—the harness, lanyard, rope-grab, rope and roof anchor—are carefully engineered to work together. You can also check at roofing suppliers (see “Roofing” in the Yellow Pages or search online). Consider splitting the cost with friends or neighbors and sharing the kit.
I don’t know a single carpenter or roofer who hasn’t had a close call on a roof, but most will readily admit they were doing something stupid at the time. Roofs are inherently dangerous places, but if you follow our suggestions and stay focused on safety, you’ll greatly reduce the chances of an accident. And with the roof brackets and personal fall arrest system in place, if you do slip, at least you’ll live to tell about it.
Roof brackets are available at hardware stores, lumberyards, roofing suppliers and home centers for $5 to $10 each. Buy enough 90-degree brackets (Photo 1) to place one bracket every 4 ft. along the edge of the roof below where you’ll be working. Use brackets designed to hold a 2x6. Larger planks are too hard to step over when you’re getting onto the roof. You’ll want additional rows of brackets and planks about 8 ft. apart across the roof to rest supplies on and provide secure footing.
Buy the best 2x6s you can find. Make sure the knots are small (under 1 in. diameter) and don’t go all the way through the board.