While falls may be the leading cause of death among roofers, there are other substantial hazards that will surely lead to death on a roofing project if steps aren’t taken to prevent them. In part one of this two-part article, an experienced roofing attorney discussed fall deaths in the roofing industry. Now, we will conclude by discussing the remaining, leading causes of death among roofers.
Roofers are at an increased risk of being exposed to overhead power lines. The electricity from these power lines could kill a roofer or cause them to plummet off a ledge. When working near powerlines, roofers must always maintain a distance of 10 feet and assume that they are powered. Lines should always be de-energized and grounded. Always use ladders made of non-conductive materials, such as wood or fiberglass, when working near power lines. Electrical equipment, power supply systems, and electrical circuits should be frequently inspected and grounded. Wet areas should always be avoided when operating electrical equipment to mitigate any risk of electrocution
Roofers must always be mindful of their tools and belongings when working at an elevated height. Even a relatively small object, such as a tape measure, can be fatal to a roofer arriving on a jobsite. To ensure that roofers aren’t at risk of being struck by a falling object, all tools and objects being manipulated should be tied off. If something can pose a threat to someone passing far below, it should be secured. Maintaining a clean and organized roofing site is imperative if you want to prevent deaths from falling objects.
Roofing contractors must always be mindful of the weather. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are required to provide their workers with a worksite that is free of hazards that could lead to death or serious harm. A contractor can abide by these regulations and avoid placing their roofers in danger by scheduling work around the hottest part of the day, providing workers with enough water, and allowing frequent breaks.
Consult the Professionals
Preventing the above causes of death is imperative for a roofing contractor that wishes to avoid an investigation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The information in this article, while informative, could never provide a contractor with all of the needed expertise to operate in compliance with all state and federal laws. Partner with an experienced and aggressive roofing lawyer to ensure that you avoid a costly OSHA violation.
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.