In part one of this two-part series, the experienced construction law attorneys at Cotney Construction Law introduced the topic of rooftop warning line systems. We kicked off our article by discussing the purpose of these systems and breaking down how they can set up to protect your workers from falls — the most common source of construction worker deaths in the United States. Now, we will continue to explore this important safety precaution focusing on stand parameters, types of stands, and the characteristics of warning lines.
Remember, maintaining the safety of your workers will help them work more efficiently and avoid accidents. The preoccupied worker may not apply themselves fully leading to defective construction. As you know, defective construction often leads to disputes, which may require the services of a Nashville construction dispute lawyer.
All warning line systems should be compliant with the relevant OSHA requirements established in 29 CFR 1926.501-502. This will help you ensure the safety of your workers while avoiding exorbitant fines. OSHA requires that all warning line systems be able to resist “a force of at least 16 pounds applied horizontally.” It should be able to resist tipping over throughout the construction process and during moderate wind. If your stand does not meet this requirement and an employee is injured, you could find yourself being issued an OSHA citation.
Your stands should be easy to handle and set up. Plus, they should be spaced apart in relatively consistent intervals in a way that requires little maintenance after the initial setup. Ideally, your stands will allow your workers to quickly set up and break down the rooftop warning line system to maximize the time spent working on the project site.
Types of Stands
There are three main types of stands: base plate, cross-stand, and folding stands. Base plate stands consist of two pieces made of steel or rubber that fit together. Steel stands weigh roughly 45 pounds while rubber stands are closer to 30 pounds. Steel stands require less maintenance, but they are harder to transport. On the other hand, rubber stands require more care when being set up and may need to be dead weighted to maintain OSHA compliance.
Cross-stands have a base composed of two long bars positioned in an “X” shape with a pivot at the center where the vertical post is positioned. They can be folded for transport and weigh roughly 37 pounds; however, full assembly and disassembly is time-consuming. Folding stands have four collapsible legs and only weigh about 24 pounds, which makes them easy to assemble, but they are expensive.
Characteristics of Warning Lines
Your warning lines should be made of rope with flags fastened along the line in six-foot intervals. Warning lines must have a 500-pound tensile strength. There are less costly options, such as warning lines with plastic pennants, but these should be replaced every month. There are also polyester warning lines that can be coiled around a reel to avoid tangles. This type of warning line can help expedite setup and is extremely durable.
When you keep your workers safe, they perform their jobs more efficiently. Productive workers are less likely to make mistakes, which means you’re less likely to find yourself embroiled in a dispute with an owner.
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.