Roof holes pose a constant threat to the safety of rooftop workers. Failure to install the proper fall protection systems can lead to employee injury or death and may result in serious citations and fines issued by OSHA. By taking the proper precautions, you can create a safe rooftop working environment for your employees. Below is a look at the incidence of roof holes and the most effective steps you can take to prevent employees from falling into them.
OSHA safety standards, especially for roof fall protection, can be a source of confusion for many industrial companies. Two OSHA standards can apply – 29 CFR 1910, which governs “general industry” safety standards and 29 CFR 1926, which governs construction sites specifically. The OSHA general industry standards exclude construction (as well as agriculture and marine industries, which also have their own standards), but both standards can sometimes apply to the same worksite at different times. Determining which one you should adhere to can be a challenge.
Maintaining a safe workplace environment that is free of fall dangers must be a top priority for industry leaders, managers, and employees alike. It is vitally important that every measure is taken to assure the safety of crew members, others that may have access to the job site, and the general public as well. Implementing workplace safety best practice strategies such as installing OSHA compliant safety devices, like safety guard rails, skylight protection, and harnesses is an essential step. In addition, companies must provide pre-employment and ongoing safety training to keep employees abreast of changes in safety rules and regulations. Lastly, it’s imperative to regularly inspect work areas to ensure compliance with safety rules and make adjustments as needed.