COVID-19 Guidance for the Roofing Workforce

The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious health issue caused by a novel coronavirus easily spread from person to person. The virus can create mild to significant respiratory illnesses that include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. Some cases can be severe enough to cause death. Spread of the virus is believed to occur when an infected person’s saliva or respiratory droplets produced from coughs or sneezes are inhaled by or contact a nearby person. As a result, spread is likely when people are in close contact with one another—within about 6 feet. Also, these droplets can land and survive on surfaces for varying amounts of time; if you touch infected surfaces and then your eyes, nose or mouth, it can lead to infection.

Performing roofing work, in general, presents a lower risk of COVID-19 exposure than other occupations. However, you must be vigilant to take measures such as those listed below—at work and home—to minimize the likelihood of contracting this or other similar viruses to help you, your co-workers and family members remain safe and healthy.

  • If you are sick with symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, STAY HOME!
  • Symptoms include cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills/repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, new loss of taste or smell, and sore throat.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or sneeze or cough into your bent elbow. Discard any tissues immediately into a closed container.
  • Wash your hands regularly for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%. Try to avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wear a cloth surgical mask or covering for your nose and mouth to prevent spread of respirable droplets. If you have been medically evaluated to wear a N-95 respirator and have been properly fit-tested, your employer may require you to wear one or you may request to wear one as enhanced protection.
  • Use an EPA disinfectant, described on List N, Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, to clean and decontaminate door handles, tools, equipment, common surfaces, toilets, vehicle interiors and other surfaces that workers or the public touch to minimize spread of the virus.
  • Check with the manufacturer of electrical or other powered tools and equipment for cleaning and disinfecting procedures so those procedures will not harm the tools or equipment.
  • Do not share tools unless absolutely necessary to do your work and use common tools only when disinfected between uses by various workers.
  • Ensure you know the proper way to put on (don) and take off (doff) masks and respirators along with removing disposable gloves to minimize exposure to the virus.
  • Practice social distancing at job sites. Keep at least 6 feet away from co-workers and others during breaks, lunches, warehouse and office visits, Toolbox Talks or other training sessions. If your employer has established supplemental work practices for work tasks that enhance social distancing during the performance of work tasks, follow those practices.
  • Minimize or eliminate contact with building occupants or other trades when on job sites. Secure your work area from intrusion by others with warning lines or caution tape.
  • Do not let other trades use your ladders and have your office give the company office phone number to building owners to contact crew leaders or foremen by phone or text.

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