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When are Roofing Contractors Required to Wear Hard Hats?

Many roofers may find wearing a hard hat unnecessary, especially during summer days when working in a hard hat may cause a roofer to overheat. Under certain circumstances, it is permissible for a roofer to go without wearing a hard hat on the jobsite, but these moments are few and far between. In this brief article, a roofing attorney in Tennessee will be discussing when a roofer is required to wear a hard hat.

OSHA Requirements

As mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers are required to supply employees with head protection when there is a risk of head injuries “from impact, flying or falling objects, or from electrical shock and burns.” When employees are not at risk of a head injury, they may go without a hard hat. For roofers, this means working on a roof “where no work is being performed overhead and there is no employee exposure to possible head injuries.” However, as soon as roofers enter a lower area where they are at risk of head injury, they are required to don protective headgear.    

If there is a power line overhead, employers will need to evaluate whether or not it poses a risk to their workers, as hard hats are required when working around exposed electrical conductors. Consult with a roofing lawyer in Tennessee for any questions regarding correctly identifying potential hazards on a roofing site.

Other Factors to Consider

When hard hats are required, they must meet ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 standards. These standards specify the type, design, performance, and testing requirements for hard hats. Additionally, hard hats should be inspected before use and replaced when they show signs of damage or fatigue. Support straps should be replaced once a year and hard hats should be replaced every five years.

While OSHA allows construction workers to go without hard hats under specific circumstances, that does not mean that contractors can’t enforce that hard hats be worn at all times. This may seem extreme, but failure to provide your roofers with the required personal protective equipment (PPE) could result in a preventable injury on the jobsite and an investigation from OSHA. Hard hat or no hard hat, safety must take priority on a roofing jobsite. Please consult with a roofing lawyer in Tennessee for any needed clarification regarding OSHA’s rigorous standards.

If you would like to speak with a roofing attorney in Tennessee, 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.

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