Establishing an effective system for your roof is not always an easy process, especially if you lack experience or familiarity with OSHA regulations. Fortunately, you can streamline your fall protection efforts by following some simple steps. Below is your five-step guide to establishing fall protection systems for roofs.
If you’re a commercial facility owner, roof fall protection might be the last thing on your mind. The idea of installing safety railings and guardrail systems can seem less of a priority to more demanding business objectives and, understandably, it can fall to the wayside. After all, if no one is up there regularly, shouldn’t you focus on more pressing concerns?
Unfortunately, this oversight can come back to haunt you. The truth is, you’ll likely have someone accessing your roof several times a year. Today we’re going to look at some situations that require rooftop access, and why roof fall protection is mission critical – for you, for your employees, and for your business.
Budget reductions and changes in policy have contributed to an overall decrease in OSHA inspections in recent years. But even with fewer inspections, safety concerns are always a top priority for employers. Remember that less frequent visits from OSHA inspectors do not mean lower risk of accidents or decreased responsibility for safety and accident prevention in your workplace. To protect your workers and your business, always fully adhere to OSHA standards, and ensure proper installation and use of the safety equipment and rooftop fall protection systems. Participation in a qualified voluntary compliance program may also help you be exempt from future programmed visits.
If you’ve ever been shocked when an OSHA inspector arrives unannounced to inspect your rooftop fall protection methods, you’re not alone. These random checks surprise many companies. Safety officers fear the inspector will discover issues that violate OSHA's stringent requirements. Managers wonder if the investigator will shut down their operations for job-related hazards. Chief executive officers worry their companies will pay a fine if their roofs fail inspection. It’s no fun for anyone.
The Cal-OSHA code, written to protect workers in the state of California, is notoriously more stringent than federal OSHA regulations for guardrail protection and roof fall protection systems. If you've been managing or paying attention to workplace safety issues, you likely know that California regulators have set higher standards, but you may not know where they exceed the federal OSHA guardrail code. Even if you're not located in the Golden State, it can be beneficial to understand the additional safety measures that a product adhering to both Cal-OSHA and federal OSHA guardrail regulations can carry.
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 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.