Roofing can be a real puzzle, especially when it comes to safety. One question that often comes up is, “What does OSHA consider a low slope roof?” We’ll break it down without the jargon, and you’ll leave with a clear picture of what’s safe.

Understanding Roof Slope:

First things first, let’s get familiar with roof slope. It’s just how steep or flat your roof is. We measure it in degrees or ratios like 2/12. The first number is the vertical rise, and the second is the horizontal run. Now, let’s dive into what OSHA thinks about low slope roofs.

OSHA’s Take on Low Slope Roofs:

What’s a Low Slope Roof, According to OSHA?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a low slope roof is one that has a slope less than or equal to 4/12. That’s a 4-inch rise for every 12 inches of run. In simpler terms, it’s a fairly flat roof.

Safety on Low Slope Roofs:

Safety First – Always:

  1. No Moonwalking: Walking on any roof can be risky, even low slope ones. Always prioritize safety.
  2. Wear the Right Gear: If you need to be on a low slope roof, wear proper footwear with good traction and use safety equipment like harnesses.
  3. Avoid When Wet: Low slope roofs can be slip ‘n’ slides when wet. Stay off them during rain or after.


Let’s make it real with some examples:

Example 1: Alex decided to clean the gutters on his 3/12 slope roof. He thought it’s not that steep, but one slip, and he learned that gravity doesn’t care about the numbers.

Example 2: Sarah’s job requires her to inspect low slope roofs. She never steps onto one without her safety gear – no exceptions.


So, what does OSHA consider a low slope roof? It’s any roof with a slope of 4/12 or less. But remember, just because it’s low slope doesn’t mean it’s risk-free. Safety should always be your top priority.


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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