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Rooftop Warning Line Systems Part 1

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When you utilize an efficient warning line system on your roofing projects, it can help reduce labor, accelerate construction, and increase safety. Unfortunately, many contractors fail to utilize such a system, and their workers and projects suffer as a result. In this two-part series, the Nashville contractor attorneys at Cotney Construction Law will outline the importance of rooftop warning line systems and provide tips for contractors who are interested in improving the efficiency and safety of their projects.

Bolstering Fall Protection

Falls account for the largest number of deaths in the construction industry, which is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is adamant about improving safety on construction sites nationwide. In order to bolster fall protection, we need to embrace the available preventative measures and ensure that all workers understand the value of these systems and respect them accordingly.

Rooftop warning line systems are effective because they are portable and inexpensive. Plus, they have the added benefit of being adaptable to almost any roof. These waist-high systems stretch along the boundary of a rooftop work area to alert workers of roof edges. This practical system, which utilizes attention-grabbing flags along the warning line, not only creates a physical barrier between the worker and the edge of the roof but also serves as a constant reminder of one’s location on the rooftop. It should be positioned six to ten feet from the edge to provide ample space for roofers. When a worker is required to perform work between the warning line and the roof’s edge, a safety monitor should supervise the worker.

Breaking Down Warning Line Systems

The fundamental components of an effective warning line system include the perimeter line, access point for workers and materials, and any necessary considerations like shielding at a tear off chute or a hot pipe. As we mentioned above, the perimeter line is to be installed at least six feet from the edge of the roof; however, this line should be extended to ten feet if a worker will be operating equipment on the roof. The flagged line should be positioned between 34 inches and 39 inches over the deck of the roof (although this rule can be affected by differing state codes). If work involving loading is required, a removable warning line can be implemented to provide uninterrupted access. Some other important considerations include:

  • Instituting a removable warning line for ladder access.
  • Running warning lines from the gates of a truck to the perimeter when loading the roof with a liftbed truck.
  • Supervising crane and forklift loading with a safety monitor.
  • Anchoring safety lines and harnesses properly when utilizing a rope with a wheel on a ladder for loading.

To learn more about rooftop warning line systems, read part two.

If you would like to speak with a Nashville contractor attorney, please contact us today.

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.