is it illegal to work on a roof without scaffolding

Is it Illegal to Work on a Roof Without Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is legally mandated for most roofing projects. But not every job necessitates it.

It all depends on the nature and size of your project. In addition, a risk assessment should always be completed by a roofing expert prior to commencing any works at height.


Scaffolding may not always be necessary when performing repairs on roofs; for simple jobs such as changing out some tiles, such as replacing one or two, a ladder with platform can suffice.

Scaffolding should be employed when carrying out repairs that take more than a few hours; it protects workers and equipment from weather elements while offering a flat and safe working platform – all while being an economical solution.

If you are uncertain whether scaffolding is required for your work, conducting a risk analysis can help identify any hazards and plan a safe approach to undertaking the tasks required.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 are intended to assist in your planning of work at height, and you should comply with them. They stipulate that any planning should aim at minimising risks by avoiding falling objects, fragile surfaces and making sure all workers possess sufficient experience in doing this work safely.


As a homeowner, you might be questioning if it is legal to access roofs without scaffolding for work purposes. Doing so could pose significant risk and could leave you responsible if an injury occurs on the property.

One way to determine whether it is legal to work on your roof without scaffolding is through conducting a proper risk analysis, taking into account factors like its size, intended work amount and your budget.

Scaffolding is an invaluable asset when it comes to roofing projects of all kinds. It serves to protect those below from falling tools and materials while providing workers with a platform from which they can safely work on. Edges can be fitted on it to prevent anyone from falling off it accidentally; additionally, its chute allows transport of materials from rooftop to ground safely.


There are various methods for working on roofs without scaffolding; some are safer and cheaper than others. But, residential roofers can help you with this throughout the process.

A ladder is an easy and safe way to access roofs, making simple tasks such as replacing tiles or cleaning gutters possible. Be mindful that using an unsafe ladder poses risks; ensure all workers wear fall protection suits while using them for added protection.

Install a chute so you can safely dispose of old roofing materials, while motorised access platforms might also come in handy for larger repair jobs or when there is insufficient room to erect traditional scaffolding systems.

Sloping roofs need edge protection in order to prevent people or materials from falling off of them, which is especially essential on roofs sloping toward the front of buildings as well as terraced properties in the rear. This protection must also cover sloping roofs which slope towards their respective buildings’ front doors as well as terraced properties in their rear yards.


Working on a roof without scaffolding incurs significant additional expenses due to additional time and equipment requirements needed for safety during an installation project.

Some roofing projects may be completed without needing scaffolding depending on the nature and access requirements for work to be performed, however this isn’t always the case and if you are uncertain whether your job requires scaffolding it might be wiser to consult a professional to assist with determining your requirements.

Utilising mobile access equipment such as cherry pickers is another reliable and accessible means of reaching various parts of the roof, providing safe access. While these machines can serve as an efficient replacement to scaffolding for larger repairs jobs, care must still be taken when using this option to avoid injury or property damage.

Chimneys can be difficult to access, particularly those located near the centre of a roof. Towers or platforms may suffice for small chimneys while larger chimneys will typically need full scaffold setups.

Replacing single tiles on a bungalow will not require any type of scaffolding. This is because the work will only take a day to complete, and workers can easily get stable access. However, if it’s a more complicated job or one that’ll take longer than that, you’re likely to need some form of scaffolding.

When you have no scaffolding, you will also have to pay a fee for a permit. In most towns and cities, a permit is required for any work that will occur on the roof. This cost can range between PS125 and PS250 per square foot, which largely depends on the type of roof you have.

Some jobs aren’t even needed if you are working on a flat or low-pitched roof. You won’t need to have a scaffold if you’re simply replacing tiles or fixing gutters and valleys.

For larger roofs, you will need to have a scaffold erected as well as a ladder. This will save you from having to pay a premium and also give you a safer place to work on the roof.

Read our other article: What is the Average Life of a Roof?

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