The Importance of Fall Prevention in the Roofing Industry
Falls are an unfortunate occurrence in the roofing industry that leading to many injuries and deaths. Theses accidents and fatalities can be avoided with proper equipment and training. If you have employees who work at an elevation of six feet or more, you should have an OSHA fall protection plan in place.
Identify Roofing Hazards
Before roofers implement OSHA fall protection plans, they must understand the hazards they could face. Hazards typically revolve around:
- Floor openings
- Bridge decking
- Leading edge work
- Inclement weather
- Ladder issues
- A poor line of sight
- A lack of training
To control the risk of falling, roofers should be wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) and be trained on the effective use of compatible OSHA fall protection equipment. Fall protection falls into the following categories:
Fall arrest systems can be a net or a lifeline. When a lifeline system is used, it will include an anchorage, body wear, connector, and a deceleration device.
Positioning systems are used along with a fall arrest system and allow the roofer to work hands-free while being held in place.
Suspension systems lower and support roofers so they can complete work with both hands free. A backup fall arrest system is recommended for use with a suspension system.
Retrieval systems are a part of the rescue plan for roofers when retrieving another worker that has already fallen.
How Roofers Can Stay Safe
Understanding OSHA fall protection standards is critical for the safety of roofers. The use of fall protection equipment and training should be a normal part of a roofer’s business. Employers that continually disregard OSHA fall regulations will find themselves facing willful, repeat, or failure-to-abate violations. Our roofing attorneys advise roofers to always inspect equipment before using it, wear a harness that fits, use guardrails or lifelines, and use guards or covers to cover up holes, skylights, and openings.
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.