No matter how often or how long a worker works at heights, safety should be priority number one. Failing to understand roofing regulations, report accidents, or select the proper personal protective equipment for your crew (as discussed in part one of our series) can lead to not only a serious injury but it could also lead to a worker’s death. Ensure that your roofing employees return home to their families after a hard day’s work by following the tips in this two-part series.
This series only touches the surface of roofing safety. Be sure that you have implemented a safety program approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and consult with a reputable roofing lawyer from Cotney Construction Law if you have any legal concerns that need addressing.
Selecting the Right PPE for the Task
When it comes to personal protective equipment (PPE), there is no one size fits all. What we mean by this is that your fall protection must fit the occasion. This is why planning ahead is critical. There are many fall hazards in roofing including holes, skylights, and leading edges. You can determine your equipment needs based on the task at hand as well as how high a worker will be working. If a worker is working on a scaffold, rails may be necessary, while a harness and layer may be necessary if they are working on a lift. In other situations, a ladder may meet the fall protection requirement.
Understand Lift Safety
Roofing workers may also use aerial lifts to perform edge work. Although workers are required to be tied off (to a boom or basket) when they are in an aerial lift, too many workers can be seen in lifts without the fall protection. Workers are required to keep both feet planted on the platform. Additionally, according to OSHA standard 1926.453(b)(2)(v), “a body belt shall be worn and a lanyard attached to the boom or basket when working from an aerial lift,” as well as a lanyard that prevents free falling more than 6 feet from a lower level.
Ladders are the most commonly used equipment in construction. However, educating workers on the proper ladder use is critical because it is often taken for granted. Ladder accidents occur when workers fail to inspect ladders, use damaged ladders, or fail to properly stabilize the ladder before climbing. Be sure to brush up on your knowledge on the proper ladder setup, climbing ladders safely, and ladder storage to avoid ladder accidents.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.