Working on a roof is very challenging. Whenever you are working on a roof, there are chances of falling and injuring yourself badly. You should follow the laws of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to create a safe environment for the task. According to OSHA, workers have to wear a personal fall arrest system (PFAS) to protect them from a fall of 6 ft or more.

Before starting to work, you need to ensure your safety. For this, you must know how to secure yourself when working on a roof. I guess you are looking for the ultimate guide to secure yourself in your roofing task.

In this article, we have shared the steps of securing your working environment on a roof.

Secure Yourself When Working On A Roof

How To Secure Yourself When Working On A Roof:

These are the necessary measures you should take to secure yourself when working on the roof. Before starting roofing, make sure to perform these steps.

Set up a roof anchor points:

Roof anchors are the most significant element of a personal fall arrest system. It works as a foundation for other elements of the system like harness, lanyard and rope. According to OSHA standard, an anchor must have an ultimate load capacity of 5000 pounds.

You need to install the anchor directly into the truss or the rafter over the highest part of the roof. To install it, you need to use nails or screws according to the guideline of the manufacturers. To find the truss, use a hammer and hit the roof gently and listen for the most solid area.

You should not set up the anchor into the sheathing alone or a single truss. These are not sturdy enough to hold a sudden fall.

Drill the nails through the sheathing into the truss. For this, roofers typically use 16 penny nails. Drill as many nails or screws as needed. Pull the anchor to make sure the anchor is installed properly. You can use a hammer to ensure the nails are attached properly.

There are three types of roofing anchors available in the market. Temporary anchors are very easy to install, remove and relocate. They are less damage-resistant than the permanent anchors. Keeping on the roof for a long time can damage this type of anchors. You can use them for quick maintenance of the roof such as cleaning.

Permanent anchors are easy to install. They are more corrosion-resistant than the temporary ones. Thus, these anchors can stay in one area for a long period of time. You can easily install them into your roof as a permanent support.

Stand seam roof anchors work perfectly on the standing seam roofs without penetrating the panels. Because of the patented non-penetrating design, they are getting popular among roofers.

Put on a roof safety harness:

After anchor point, this is the most important element of a fall arrest system. It is a protective equipment that will protect your body in the event of a sudden fall.

Before wearing the harness, you need to make sure that it is not damaged. After checking, put on the harness. The D-ring should be on the upper-middle part of the shoulder. You will find a strap for each leg and a strap for the chest. Use the buckles to adjust the straps. You should not make the straps too tight or loose. 

Read: How To Use A Safety Harness For Roofing

Secure Yourself When Working On A Roof

Apply the connectors:

The main job of the connectors is to attach the harness with the anchor point. There are many connectors in the fall protection system. The most common ones are the lanyard, the roping grab and the roofing rope.


Lanyard is important for its shock-absorbing feature. It is attached to the D-ring of the harness. It helps to reduce the velocity and lessen the impact of a sudden fall.

Roofing rope grab:

Rope grab works as a break and allows you to minimise your movement. You have to adjust the length of rope you need. You can control your movement up and down using the grab. In the event of a sudden fall, you will continue to hang on to the rope due to the grab.

Roofing rope:

Ordinary ropes are not sturdy enough to hold a sudden fall. Try to pick a rope that is OSHA compliant.

roofing Use Safety Brackets And Planks

Use safety brackets and planks:

It is very difficult and dangerous to work on a high pitched roof. You can install safety brackets which offer a flat area to stand while working. You can enlarge the flat area by placing planks on top of the brackets.

Extension ladders:

You need a ladder to get on and off the roof. The ladder should be strong enough to uphold over 3000 pounds. You need to check the load capacity and the extension length while selecting a ladder for roofing.


I guess, now you know how to secure yourself when working on a roof. I hope these guidelines will help you protect yourself on the roof.

Now it is your turn. Take the recommended safety measures and make your roofing task more secure.  


As a civil engineer and roofer, I love to share the experience that I have gained through the last couple of years. In the roofing industry, practical experience is a very crucial fact that can help you a lot. Hence, I want to help you with my blog.

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