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How To Conduct Safe Roof Inspections

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A guide for best roofing practices for claims adjusters

Roof inspections are an integral part of property claims adjusting and from time to time, a claims adjuster comes across inspection assignments that involve him/her to climb roofs and inspect damages. Roofs can be a hotspot for all kinds of potential damages, especially during the CAT season.

Moreover, roofs aren’t specifically designed for people to access and walk around and it can be quite a challenge to navigate up there when an adjuster has to inspect for damages. The possibility of injuring yourself by tripping or falling over is quite high and may even lead to death in some cases.

Therefore, it becomes crucial to maintain certain safety practices and take certain precautions while conducting roof inspections in order to avoid such accidents. Let’s have a look at what kind of steps can be taken to prevent accidents and conduct safe roof inspections.

Precautionary steps

There are certain precautionary steps one can take in order to minimize the risk of accidents while conducting roof inspections. These steps not only help prevent accidents but can also help establish better roof inspection practices for claims adjusters:

Choosing the right ladder

Most roofing accidents occur not when the adjuster is on the roof inspecting damages but when they are using the ladder to climb up or come down from the roof. It is highly important that the right ladder must be utilized for this practice. Most people assume that a step ladder offers enough stability and support but it does not. It is advised to never use a step ladder to access the roof and never use the topmost rung of the ladder.

The best ladder for accessing roofs is an extension or a telescoping ladder. Another aspect of choosing the right ladder is to consider the material, weight, and length of the ladder. Make sure it ticks all the boxes on your safety checklist before buying one.

You can read more about minimizing ladder injuries here.

Ensuring safe mobility on the roof

While the right ladder may help minimize the risk of falling during the climb, the actual challenge is to navigate on the roof for inspection and staying safe. A roof with no parapet walls and slippery conditions due to leaves, debris, etc. can increase the risk of falling over. It is crucial to have good traction when working on the roof and one way to achieve this is to invest in roofing shoes. Roofing shoes provide the grip and comfort necessary to inspect safely while being on the roof.

Roofing shoes offer the stability that normal shoes do not provide and are more durable in terms of withstanding extreme weather conditions. You can choose the best kind of roofing shoes according to your requirement with the help of this link.

Double-check roof safety policies before conducting inspections

There are certain roof safety policies that are required to be looked over by claims adjusters. The most important aspect of this is determining who is allowed to access the roof and who isn’t. It’s necessary to have clear guidelines that explain how many people are allowed to access the roof for inspection purposes as well as the scope of the work involved. With such policies in place, the personnel involved in the inspection process will be able to identify potential hazards and accidents that can arise while inspecting roofs.

The stability of the buildings where roof inspections are required must also be determined. It is important to understand the stability and structural integrity of a house before a claims adjuster attempts to access the roof for inspections.

Using drones as an alternative

In some cases, especially with CAT assignments, it is not practical to access roofs because of the extent of damage that has been inflicted on a property. At times like these, using drones to access and inspect roofs can be a good alternative to traditional roofing. Drones are easy to operate and provide greater accessibility to claims adjusters when it comes to inspections. Claims adjusters can even operate drones from a distance and get feedback via a built-in camera when visiting the site is not a possibility.

Remote inspection is slowly on the rise and with the ongoing pandemic, it seems to offer itself as a substantial alternative to traditional inspection practices. You can read more about drone technology and insurance here.

The road ahead

With these precautionary practices in mind, claims adjusters can greatly improve the safety standard associated with roof inspections and minimize the risks involved in the process. It is necessary for claims adjusters to work in a safe environment where accidents can be mitigated and inspections are approachable. IA firms can offer their assistance by crafting safety policies and regulations that look over the challenges faced by adjusters during roof inspections.

Your safety as a claims adjuster is of utmost importance and we hope that with this article you are able to assess the necessary steps that can be taken to build better and safer work practices.