Feb 26, 2015 4:12 PM

NH safety department's tips for safe snow removal


In a Facebook post, the N.H. Homeland Security & Emergency Management department released a list of safety tips for snow removal during this particularly snowy winter.

The tips:

• Use roof fall arrest harnesses where applicable.

• Always have someone below the roof to keep foot traffic away from locations where falling snow or ice could cause injuries.

• Ensure someone confirms that the area below removal site is free of equipment that could be damaged by falling snow or ice.

• Whenever snow is being removed from a roof, be careful of dislodged icicles. An icicle falling from a short height can still cause damage or injury.

• When using a snow rake, be aware that roof snow can slide at any moment. Keep a safe distance away from the eave to remain outside of the sliding range.

• Buried skylights pose a high risk to workers on a roof removing snow. Properly mark this hazard as well as other rooftop hazards.

• Removing snow completely from a roof surface can result in serious damage to the roof covering and possibly lead to leaks and additional damage. At least a couple of inches of snow should be left on the roof.

• Do not use mechanical snow removal equipment. The risk of damaging the roof membrane or other rooftop items outweighs the advantage of speed.

• Do not use sharp tools, such as picks, to remove snow. Use plastic rather than metal shovels.

• Remove drifted snow first at building elevation changes, parapets, and around equipment.

• Once drifted snow has been removed, start remaining snow removal from the center portion of the roof.

• Remove snow in the direction of primary structural members. This will prevent unbalanced snow loading.

• Do not stockpile snow on the roof.

• Dispose of removed snow in designated areas on the ground.

• Keep snow away from building exits, fire escapes, drain downspouts, ventilation openings, and equipment.

• If possible, remove snow starting at the ridge and moving toward the eave for gable and sloped roofs.

• In some cases a long-handled non-metallic snow rake can be used from the ground, thereby reducing the risk. Metal snow rakes can damage roofing material and pose an electrocution risk and should be avoided.

• Upon completion of snow removal, the roofing material should be inspected for any signs of damage.

• Additionally, a quick inspection of the structural system may be prudent after particularly large snow events. ?


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