With the prevalence of falls occurring in the roofing industry, there is more than one way to protect a worker from falling off a roof. One of these ways is by using a fall restraint system.
What is a Fall Restraint System?
A fall restraint system is a custom fitted fall protection equipment that prevents a roofer from reaching a fall through a tie-off system such as a harness or lanyard. A fall restraint system consists of a body harness, anchorage, connectors, and other equipment such as a lifeline and lanyard. With the use of these, a worker can be prevented from reaching the edge of a roof and falling off. For the restraint system to be effective, the anchorage has to be strong enough to keep the worker from moving past the hazard point.
What Are OSHA’s Requirements?
Fall protection guidelines can be found in Subpart M on OSHA’s website. Under the subpart, construction professionals require protection when working at heights of six feet or more, near holes, near falling objects, and near any dangerous equipment. Although OSHA has extensive regulations for fall protection, fall restraint systems are not covered. However, OSHA does recognize fall restraint systems as suitable prevention in lieu of traditional fall arrest systems, safety lines, or guardrails. The following must apply:
- The anchorage must be strong enough to prevent the worker from moving past the point where the system is fully extended
- They must have the capacity to withstand twice the maximum expected force that is needed to restrain the person from exposure to the fall hazard.
How Can a Lawyer Assist Roofers?
As knowledgeable OSHA lawyers, we have insight into the construction industry on many levels. We know the dangers of falls and when workers are seriously injured or killed, one of the reasons is due to a lack of adequate protection such as a fall restraint system. Employers and workers are responsible for understanding OSHA’s laws to keep their workplaces free of unnecessary accidents. We strongly advise construction businesses to go above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to fall protection.
If you would like to speak with an experienced roofing lawyer, 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.