Almost 40% deaths in the construction industry are related to falls. OSHA performs thousands of inspections and issues thousands of citations every year, which has resulted in millions collected in fines. Fall protection is very serious because the lives of workers are placed at risk for accidents that can be avoided.
Why companies Are Fined
Companies are typically fined for not providing or training employees on the use of fall protection equipment, not enforcing safe work practices, and for failing to install safety equipment correctly. Lack of proper equipment has led to unnecessary deaths and for that reason, OSHA has increased penalty amounts by almost 80% in 2016.
Types of Violations
The type of violation matters. Employers with serious violations will find themselves facing a $7,000 penalty per violation while willful and repeated violations will face a maximum penalty of $70,000.
When is a Fall Protection Harness Needed?
A fall protection harness is needed for roofers working at heights with a drop of six feet or more when work is performed on roof edges and sides, and during scaffolding at 10 feet or more. Additionally, fall protection equipment is needed for the following:
- Work performed on runways, ramps, and walkways
- Near holes and hoist areas
- During excavations, formwork, and reinforcing steel
- During leading edge work
Providing Roofers With the Right Fall Protection Equipment
Employers are required to provide roofers with protective equipment that fall into four different categories: fall arrest, positioning, suspension, and retrieval. The following types of equipment will fall into the above-mentioned category: covers, guardrail systems, personal fall arrest systems, positioning devices, safety nets, and rescue equipment. A fall protection harness with a lanyard and lifeline is recommended for the fall arrest system. The harness ensures the force of a fall is distributed and the fall is properly arrested.
Are You Meeting OSHA Standards?
Are you meeting OSHA standards and regulations for fall protection 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 OSHA 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.