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:
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.
An attractive campus starts with beautiful buildings. Even a cursory glance at Architectural Digest’s 50 Most Beautiful Colleges in America makes it abundantly clear: campus architecture—whether classic or contemporary—plays a large part in school perception and culture. It’s no wonder universities and other institutions of higher education spend so much time and money maintaining and restoring their original buildings. Careful consideration is given to new construction and how it fits in, both with the landscape and the existing structures. Planners and designers want to create a unified appearance on campus, an admirable challenge on campuses that likely includes buildings erected over the course of several decades or centuries! Because of this, safety railings and rooftop fall protections might be the furthest thing from their minds.
HERE ARE SOME NEWS ITEMS AND ARTICLES RELEVANT TO SAFETY PROFESSIONALS FROM MARCH 2020:
U.S. Department of Labor Offers Guidance For Preparing Workplaces for Coronavirus
The document provides practical guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus, and contains information on safe work practices and appropriate personal protective equipment based on the risk level of exposure...
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...
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.