Roof Plumbing Clothing & Protective Equipment: What Should I Be Wearing?

Wearing the appropriate clothing and safety equipment for roof plumbing is important.  Whether you’re up on the roof or on your ladder fixing gutters you want to ensure you have the appropriate clothing and safety equipment on.  To assist with this, I’ve written this article to provide more information on what I believe is appropriate to wear.

Two roof plumbers wearing appropriate safety equipment on the roof
Example of roof harnesses being worn

Roof Plumbing Clothing

First, let’s start with clothing.  Below are my thoughts on appropriate clothing when it comes to roof plumbing;

Full brim hat with neck covering

As we all know the sun in Australia is unforgiving and it doesn’t take long to get sunburn when you’re outdoors.  However, when you’re on a roof there is no escape from the sun, nor do you have shade so ensure you’re wearing a full brim hat for maximum protection.

Long sleeve shirts

When it comes to what shirt to wear, I’ve found a good quality high viz long sleeve shirt works the best.  The long sleeves and decent collars are great for that extra sun protection.  The high viz also helps to ensure you align with OHS guidelines too.

If you can, I’d also suggest getting one that has vent holes on the back and under arms as you’ll definitely notice the extra ventilation on those hot aussie summer days.

In addition, the long sleeves are also great when laying down roof insulation as the long sleeves protect your arms from the itchy fibers within the insulation.

Shorts or trousers

The next piece of clothing is your shorts or trouser depending on the climate.  When it comes to shorts as most of the time you’ll be wearing a tool belt filled with tools you want to go for a pair of light material, non-restrictive shorts.  Shorts that you can easily bend down and get up in with no bulky pockets under where your toolbelt will sit.

When it comes to trousers, again you want to look for a pair that are made out of light material that does not restrict your movement.

Roofing shoes

When roof plumbing in Australia, it’s vitally essential that you have the right pair of shoes on before you get up on the roof.  This will make working on roofs ten times easier and more importantly, will ensure your safety.

See also: Recommended Shoes for Roof Plumbing in Australia

Protective and Safety Equipment

When you’re up on the roof, apart from ensuring you take the appropriate safety measures when working on the roof you also want to ensure you’re wearing the appropriate protective and safety equipment.

See also: Roof Safety


Protecting your eyes is vitally important, apart from protecting them from sun damage you always want to ensure they are protected from hazards in the work area.  Time and time again I had bits of metal and other dangerous items etc flick up into my eyes and if it wasn’t for wearing glasses I would have had some permanent damage – therefore always ensure you’re wearing appropriate protective glasses.


Whether you’re ripping up roof tiles or cutting up metal roof sheets your hands get a work out and you constantly get cuts here and there, hence when possible I would recommend wearing a decent pair of gloves.

A hard hat

In alignment with Australia’s Occupational Safety and Health Regulations, it’s always recommended to wear a hard hat.  If you’re self-employed then I would suggest reading more into the OSH regulations within your state to determine the type of hard hat you are required to wear.  

If you’re working for a company talk to your employer about getting a hard hat as it’s their obligation to ensure a safe working environment and if there is a risk that an employee can fall from a height of over 2m then hard hats should be provided.

A roofing safety harness

Roof safety harness clip on metal roof

Another recommended piece of safety equipment is a roof harness.  A roof harness straps around your body and via a clip and a rope you’re connected to a roof harness point ensuring that you can’t fall off the roof.  Therefore, if there are harness points on the roof also wear your harness and connect up.

Respirator or mask

If you’re installing roof insulation (commonly laid under metal roofs in Australia) then you need to wear a respirator or face mask to ensure that you are not exposed to particles in the insulation that can be harmless to you if inhaled into your respiratory system.  Refer to the packaging of the roof insulation to confirm what level of respirator or mask is required.


 When it comes to working on a roof you have no shade and to be honest, some of the metal roofs I’ve worked on were like standing on a frying pan.  This is more so with Australia’s harsh climate, so always ensure you have plenty of sunscreen on and keep re-applying it throughout the date.

Final thoughts

I hope you found the above article useful. If you have any other clothing items or protective equipment that you feel should be mentioned please let me know via my contact page.

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