The Importance of Roof Fall Protection
Working in the roofing industry can be dangerous so appropriate measures must be taken to prevent falls. Many workers have suffered severe injuries due to common hazards such as unsafe working conditions, a lack of training, no safety systems in place, and failing to follow OSHA guidelines. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) industry standards, it is the legal duty of employers to provide fall protection during roofing operations that contain drops over six feet.
Protecting Workers From Hazards
Roofing workers access rooftops for various reasons so roof fall protection must be in place to ensure workers are safe. Some common hazards workers need to be aware of include:
- Roof stability
- Roof edges
- Weather conditions
- Stair and ladder safety
- Skylights and holes
- Poor lighting
- Steep roofs
- Split level roofs
The key is to identify the hazards and use the proper protection to avoid unnecessary injury and death.
Fall Safety Tips
Aside from recognizing hazards, workers need to actively avoid accidents by doing some of the following:
- Use railings, toe-boards, or floor covers to guard floor holes and around elevated and open platforms to prevent workers from falling into machines.
- Provide employees with a safety harness and line, safety nets, and hand rails.
- Ensure harness lanyards are the right length.
- Ensure railings and skylight guards are in place.
- Keep floors clear and dry
Fall protection is a must and everyone should have an understanding of how to use personal protective equipment (PPE). Some ways that workers can be protected from falling are by guardrails, fall arrest equipment, and restraint mechanisms. Guardrails place a barrier between workers and the hazard. Fall arrest systems protect a worker after they fall. Restraint systems will prevent a worker from falling.
Implementing OSHA’s Fall Prevention Campaign
Falls are a major concern for OSHA and they are committed to educating employers and workers alike about roofing hazards. The fall prevention plan includes planning ahead to get jobs done safely, providing workers with the fall protection equipment to get the job done, and training workers on how to use the equipment they need for their tasks. If you need guidance on putting a fall protection plan together, visit OSHA’s website for helpful guidelines.
Our attorneys understand OSHA regulations and we know that a failure to implement a fall protection plan can result in a willful violation. The more severe the violation, the steeper the penalty. We strongly encourage employers to take fall protection seriously.
If you would like to speak with an experienced roofing attorney, 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.