How to Safely Install Roof Trusses at Height

The installation of roof trusses, also known as trussed rafters, requires specific construction skills involving working at height and handling unstable materials. Housebuilders must make themselves familiar with health and safety information and review safe working practice documents to ensure the safety of everyone with or around roof trusses.

Roof truss installation checklist

Before installing roof trusses it is imperative that a full site-specific risk assessment has been completed. The installation of timber roof trusses should only be carried out by suitably experienced and qualified personnel – for example, those with a Level 2 Diploma in Site Carpentry.

Before you begin:

  • Thoroughly check and read all assembly drawings and information provided by Scotts Timber Engineering.
  • Ensure all personal protective equipment (PPE) is correctly worn.
  • Confirm that all scaffolding is in place and has been signed off.
  • A safe working platform within the structure is strongly recommended.
  • Ensure hop-ups and scaffolding edge protection are securely in place.
  • Identify the easiest starting point using the simplest roof of trusses.

Stay safe whilst working at height

Installing roof trusses requires specific construction skills involving working at height, handling dynamically unstable materials and should only be undertaken by qualified personnel. The contractor is responsible for completing a site risk assessment and developing a safety method statement before any work commences onsite.

Around the perimeter of the roof a safe working platform should be provided, using edge protection boarded scaffold with guard rails and suitable access onto the roof (for example, a stair tower). Detailed measures should be put in place to prevent or mitigate the distance of a fall, should one occur. This can be done by providing a working platform or ‘crash deck’ immediately beneath the underside of the trusses.

The Work at Height Regulations requires for weather conditions to be considered when planning any work. If roof trusses are not installed and not fully braced, high wind conditions can present particular risk. The Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) supports the National Federation of Roofing Contractors recommendation that roof installation activity involving components greater than five metres should cease when the mean wind speed reaches 17mph (gusting to 26mph or over).

Installing roof trusses

Once all the instructions above have been actioned, installation can take place. Due to the size and shape of roof trusses, it is essential to use mechanical handling for all except the smallest sized trusses.

As a leading member of the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) we provide our customers with guidance on safe working practices for installing your roof trusses.