Fatal falls are an unfortunate reality in the roofing industry. Fortunately, these falls can be avoided. Fall prevention is all about keeping the workplace safe and healthy from the dangers of roofing-related hazards. When considering fall prevention, it’s important to plan and select equipment and tools with eliminating and reducing hazards in mind. This is where fall arrest systems come in.
What is a Fall Arrest System?
A fall arrest system is designed to arrest an employee in the event of a fall. Personal fall arrest systems consists of a combination of an anchorage, connectors, a body harness, a lanyard, deceleration device, and a lifeline.
Fall Arrest Equipment
All fall protection products fit into the following categories: fall arrest, positioning, suspension, and retrieval. An extensive breakdown of each of these categories can be found on the OSHA website. Regular inspection, cleaning, and maintenance of fall arrest equipment are required. Fall protection systems consist of equipment such as:
- Chest and body harness
- Suspension belt
- Body belt
- Shock absorbers
- Rope grabs
- Lifeline system
- Safety net
- Rail system
When is Fall Arrest Equipment Needed?
Employees on roofs with vertical drops of more than six feet are required to wear fall arrest equipment. Furthermore, employees working within 15 feet of a roof’s edge or at least 10 feet on scaffolding will require the protection as well. Fall protection is needed when performing work on runways, ramps, and walkways, near holes, near hoist areas, during excavations, formwork and reinforcing steel, during leading edge work, and near unprotected sides and edges.
Employer and Employee Responsibilities
Roof safety is everyone’s responsibility. Employers are required to provide the right equipment for each task and train workers on its proper use. Employees are responsible for complying with safety practices, using the equipment as directed, and wearing the appropriate equipment as necessary.
Are You Meeting OSHA Standards?
Are you meeting OSHA standards and regulations for fall arrest equipment? Do not risk the lives of your employees by failing to put prevention measures in place. If you are found with inadequate fall protection, you place your employees at risk for severe injuries or worse. You also place yourself at risk for a lawsuit and costly penalties. If you need guidance in the area of fall protection, don’t hesitate to contact one of our attorneys.
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable roofing attorney, please contact us at 813.579.3278, or submit our contact request form.
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.