Working on a roof is always dangerous. But in winter, snow, ice, cold and wind make the work even more dangerous. At these times, those who work on roofs are especially dependent upon proper safety devices.
The property owner is responsible for the correct safety devices being on the roof and that they are maintained. The employer is responsible for the work being carried out according to the applicable work environment regulations in the provisions about building and civil engineering work (AFS 1999:3Eng).
The employer decides which safety devices are necessary
The employer must, with the starting point of the applicable stipulations, determine which safety devices are needed for the work. Normally, at least a safety line and full body harness are used. During snow clearance there need to be at least two persons who carry out the work. The work may not be carried out alone and there often needs to be someone who warns passers-by below where one is clearing.
If it is just snow clearance that will be carried out, the work is not counted as building and civil engineering work, but the work is encompassed by certain paragraphs in AFS 1999:3. Snow clearance does not demand that a building work environment coordinator is appointed, and neither does it require the establishment of a work environment plan.
Since 1 January 2015, those who work with snow removal can get a sanction fee if they do not follow the current regulations. Read more about sanction fees.
The employer should make sure the roof is investigated
The employer should make sure the roof is investigated before employees begin their work. Safety devices must be in good working order and properly fastened. One needs to know if there are skylights or roof portions with bad bearing capacity, for example asbestos cement, which one can step right through.
The employee should follow applicable provisions, use the protective devices that exist and observe the precaution that is necessary. If the work entails immediate and serious risk for life and health, the employer or safety representative should be notified.
If serious risks arise, the employer is required to stop the work.
Last updated 2016-04-28