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Press Release: 13th June 2005

New Guidance Document for Safe Working on Fragile Roofs

The Advisory Committee for Roofwork (ACR) are pleased to announce the launch of their latest Best Practice Guide - ACR (CP) 002:2005 Guidance Note for Safe Working on Fragile Roofs, (The Green Book)

Under the CDM Regulations, that were introduced in the early 90s, roofs should be designed to be non fragile thereby considerably reducing the risks of people falling through roofs during construction and whilst carrying out maintenance. Serious Incident Accident statistics show that this is having a marked improvement on new and recently built roofs.

However over 90% of the existing building stock was built before CDM and are now likely to be  fragile.. Building owners, surveyors, builders, roofing contractors, maintenance engineers all need to be aware that ALL old roofs are likely to be FRAGILE and access to the roof must be carried out by people competent to to do so.

The Green Guide prepared by ACR provides a step by step process of Planning, Selection of Maintenance Procedure and Equipment to use in order to carry out the roof maintenance in a safe and orderly manner.  The Guide then gives specific examples of typical maintenance needs and how to proceed with such work - such as clearing a gutter, cleaning a rooflight, replacing or repairing a broken roof element.

No one should underestimate the serious risks involved when engaged in working on old roofs. Even the initial inspection process must be carried out with the due care necessary to avoid falling through or off the roof. Remember old roofs may look safe but the unseen fixing may have failed or the lichen covering the sheets may be wet causing a slip with the resultant impact causing the roof to fail.

Going on to old roofs will be dangerous

The Green Guide can be obtained by downloading from the ACR website  free of charge, or from any of the ACR participating member associations.

ACR was set up in 1998 to improve roof safety for the construction and building maintenance industry.  Its members are the experts from the Associated Bodies that are involved in the manufacture, supply and construction of all roofing materials, together with Technical Officers of the HSE who also provide the Secretariat. ACR documents are written by the roofing industry for the roofing industry and are recognised by the HSE as the Industry Standard to use.

Chris Pearce

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The Advisory Committee for Roofsafety [ACR] is a body dedicated to making working on roofs safer.  Its membership is made up of nominees from the major roofworking Federations and Associations and the Health & Safety Executive, who provide the experience of many years of involvement in working on roofs in the advice given in their documents.Every care and attention is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information included in their documents and this website, however the committee or any individual committtee members can not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions contained therein