In 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 887 workers died from falls in the workplace.
This adds up to more than 17% of work-related fatalities due to falls alone, and in construction that number raises to 40%.
Fall protection is one of the easiest safety precautions that can be made, yet the number of falls every year is still on the rise. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, states that fall protection is the most violated standard, and in almost all rooftop fatalities, fall protection was not properly followed.
Roofers are constantly put in dangerous situations every day, that’s why it is our number one priority to keep our employees safe. OSHA sets specific standards and regulations to prevent fatalities from occurring in the workplace. With safety being out top priority, we stay up to date with any changes made by OSHA to ensure our roofers go home safe every day.
Below are a few of the things we do to make sure we are not putting any of our employees at risk:
Performing a Fall Risk Analysis
Commercial roofs are constantly exposed to the elements, because of this you should have your roof routinely inspected by a professional. Regular inspections will increase the chance of finding small problems before they lead to bigger more expensive problems caused by snow and ice. In the long run roof inspections will save you more money, so don’t test your luck and wait until winter is here and you have a problem before calling a professional.
Setting Up a Safety Plan
After we complete the roof top analysis, we will set up a safety plan to be implemented on the roof. If the roof access requires the use of ladders, we will make sure they are properly secured to the roof. We will cover or block off holes and penetrations with railings. The edges of the roof will have either railings or a warning system such as flags. In some cases, the use of harnesses will also be required. During the colder months we will evaluate the weather and the roof every day to make sure the roof isn’t slick with ice or snow. Employees will not be required to go on the roofs during these times.
Educating Employees on Safety
Not only do we provide the fall protection and safety equipment, but we also require all employees do safety training before ever stepping on the roof. It’s important that all employees who will be on the roof understand the possible hazards they will run into, as well as how to prevent any possible falls or injuries. Things we train them on are fall protection, heat protection and cold protection. We also have a no tolerance rule for horseplay, as this can put everyone at risk on the roof.