Workers’ compensation claims are increasingly filed due to fall accidents on the job. Roofing companies must ensure that they are making every effort to prevent or minimize the risk of falls. If roofing workers are working at elevations of six feet or more, they need roof safety equipment to help reduce fall accidents.
Abiding by OSHA Standards
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is cracking down on companies who fail to secure adequate safety equipment for their employees. If you are not providing a work environment that is safe and free of the hazards that cause serious harm or death to employees, you will be faced with citations and increased penalties for violating OSHA regulations.
When is Fall Protection Equipment Needed?
Anytime work is performed at high levels, near unprotected edges, near holes and openings, or on steep roof slopes, the risk of a fall is greatly increased. Add to that adverse weather conditions, irresponsible workers, and equipment misuse, and you’ll have a dangerous problem on your hands. Most falls are due in part to improper scaffolding, unguarded steel rebars, portable ladder misuse, and unprotected holes, sides, and wall openings. Employers must select equipment that is compatible with the work being performed.
Providing the Right Safety Equipment
Employers are required to provide roofers with protective equipment that falls into one of the four categories: fall arrest, positioning, suspension, or retrieval systems. Fall arrest systems consists of a vertical or horizontal lifeline, anchorage, body harness, and connectors. This system is used to arrest a fall, after it happens, from a height of six feet or more. A positioning system holds a worker in place so they can perform work. Suspension systems do not arrest a fall. They allow hand-free work and is used with a fall arrest system when necessary. A retrieval system simply lowers and pulls workers into spaces to perform work. This system is used to rescue workers in danger.
Do You Need an Attorney?
If you are questioning your company’s compliance with OSHA standards or facing a citation for failing to meet roof safety equipment standards, you need an attorney that understands OSHA law working on your behalf. Our attorneys know the ends and outs of OSHA regulations and can assist you with all of your legal roofing needs.
If you would like to speak with one of our knowledgeable roofing attorneys, 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.