You've invested in the best OSHA approved rooftop fall protection for your facility—including guardrails around roof openings, covers on all the skylights, and roof safety railing around the perimeter. You’re ready to sit back and relax, knowing your roof is as safe as possible for your employees. Congrats on a job well done, but before you get too comfy, remember—installing fall safety equipment and systems is just the beginning. To fully protect your employees and provide a safe work environment, you have to set up a regular inspection and maintenance schedule. These crucial steps will also help you avoid possible OSHA fines and costly repairs in the future.
BELOW IS A SELECTION OF SAFETY NEWS AND HEADLINES FROM FEBRUARY 2020:
OSHA continues to prevent fall fatalities while increasing drone usage
...OSHA issued a memo to its staff formalizing its use of drones for inspection activities. Staff members from the agency's 10 regions were asked to designate an unmanned aircraft program manager and a drone inspection team...
Considering fall protection once again tops the list of OSHA’s most frequently cited violations, rooftop fall protection is a significant concern for employers and safety managers across a number of industries. Rooftop work, elevated surfaces, walking-working surfaces, and working at height and/or over dangerous equipment can all present fall hazards. Fortunately, injury is preventable with the right fall protection systems in place. So, whether you’re taking your first job as a safety manager, or an old pro starting at a new company, we put together a handy guide that will help ensure your workers stay safe, and you can get your job done.
OK, so you need to get workers out on your roof. Maybe it’s to work on or inspect the HVAC system. Maybe it’s to clear snow or weather-related debris. Or maybe it’s to do roofing work, skylight work, or general maintenance. Whatever your reason, if you have workers on your roof, they’re going to be exposed to fall hazards—which means you’ll need a fall protection system in place.
Perhaps your roof work is infrequent—and for that reason, a warning line system seems more appealing than installing a roof guard rail. But unfortunately, this minimal approach might not meet OSHA requirements. What’s best for your needs? Let’s begin with the basics:
HERE ARE SOME NEWS AND HAPPENINGS PERTAINING TO SAFETY FROM THE FIRST MONTH OF 2020:
Headphones Music on Construction Sites Is Up to Employer Discretion, says OSHA
Music is integral to our lives. We listen to it on the way to and from work, while doing the dishes, at parties, and even on the job. However, there are arguably some jobs where listening to music through headphones could cause more harm than good. Employers in the construction industry asked OSHA about the regulations and recommendations the organization had about music headphones on site.
Winter is in full swing, which means there’s a good chance you've got the thermostat cranked up at your facility. If you've got the heat on, there’re a few things you should check up on to make sure your HVAC system is good to go all season long. Your system likely run all summer, and now that you transitioned to wintertime, it should be inspected, maintained, and/or repaired. You’ll also need to make sure your heat is in good working order before as the temperature dips. Here’s what should be on your radar:
BELOW ARE SOME SAFETY-RELATED ARTICLES AND NEWS FROM THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2019:
OSHA Enforcement and Compliance Increases in 2019 To Keep America’s Workforce Safe
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) fiscal year (FY) 2019 final statistics show a significant increase in the number of inspections and a record amount of compliance assistance to further the mission of ensuring that employers provide workplaces free of hazards....
Your rooftop may seem like a quiet place during the winter months, but think again. Inclement weather means you or your facility manager might be tasked with the tedious job of snow removal. Working on a rooftop is precarious enough when the roof is clear, but when it's blanketed with snow it becomes exponentially more risky. And if it’s a heavy load of snow, you’ll want to get that weight removed before it has time to do any damage to the integrity of your roof. Whether your workers are using shovels, snow rakes, or snow blowers, make sure you have your rooftop fall protection systems in place before you send them out there (and, ideally, before the first storm hits). One of the easiest ways to do this is with a guardrail fall protection system. Installing things as simple as a safety railing can take the worry out of the slips and trips that can occur, no matter what time of year it is.
There are only so many ways to access a roof, and a ladder is one of the most common. So, it's no surprise that OSHA has guardrail requirements for rooftops. But you’ll also need to consider what their guidelines are on ladder fall protection. You not only need to protect your workers when they’re up on the roof, you need to protect them on the way up and down as well.
Fortunately, it’s just a simple matter of providing the right equipment, like a ladder guard, and/or guardrail systems. But consider this: you also need to make sure your team has the appropriate ladder fall protection training. It’s easy to rest on your laurels on the idea that climbing a ladder safely is common sense. This may be true, but there are a lot of circumstances that could derail a safe climb—no pun intended. Today we’re taking a look at how you can keep your employees safe and productive when ladder usage is a part of their workload.
Here is a selection of safety-related news items from November 2019:
DOL's Sweatt: Strong enforcement a priority for OSHA
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt spoke at the Pennsylvania Governor's Safety and Health Conference...