Is Your Company Meeting OSHA Fall Protection Ladder Requirements?
Safety is always the most critical factor in any construction trade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics falls are the leading cause of construction site fatalities, totaling 351 fatal falls in 2020. What’s worse is that these deaths are preventable. Lives can be saved through taking the steps to meet OSHA fall protection ladder requirements. The first step is creating a Fall Prevention Program for your roofing company.
Create a Fall Prevention Plan
When it comes to roofing, falls can be a lot more serious than other construction trades. In fact the old roofers joke used to be that “if you fall, you’re fired before you hit the ground.” But in all seriousness, with so many differences in residential and commercial roofing including roof shape, height, and pitch, it is important that any fall prevention plan takes those variables into account.
- Plan: Prior to starting the job, it helps to go over the dangers and safety protocols specific to the project. In order to do this effectively a project manager or site supervisor should walk the property first. A close examination should be made to determine the safety equipment that is required and draft a unique fall prevention plan.
- Procure: After the fall prevention, or safety plan is created and the necessary equipment needed should be documented. The next critical step is to gather the fall protection gear. As always any fall prevention equipment should meet OSHA regulations. Ladders and personal fall arrest systems (PFAS) that meet OSHA regulations should be provided at the job site to everyone.
- Educate: What good is safety equipment if workers don’t know how to use it? Training and educating everyone on how to use and operate the equipment properly and according to the manufacturers guidelines is just as important as providing it. Some devices can be tricky to understand and safety compliance is the only way to prevent fall accidents.
Always Inspect Equipment
Before and after using fall prevention equipment, it is imperative that it is inspected for any damages or normal wear and tear. The project supervisor along with workers should always keep an eye out for safety hazards that could put the roofing team’s safety in jeopardy.
Furthermore, the job site should always follow OSHA fall protection requirements for ladders, walkways, and all other areas. Failure to accurately follow OSHA guidelines can result in fines, injuries, and fatalities.
Dangers of Roofing
Roofing is naturally a dangerous occupation and falls are a very real risk even for the most cautious of roofers. Unfortunately, fall prevention can mistakenly be seen to some in the roofing industry as cumbersome and unnecessary; delaying project delivery times. This is why education is critical and safety needs must be strictly enforced on any job site at all times.
In recent OSHA reports, nearly 90 percent of fatal falls happen when no fall-protection system is in place and other falls occur when OSHA fall-protection requirements are not followed.
Reflect and Analyze
If an injury or fall does occur, it is always advised that an effective analysis is conducted to figure out what went wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. Planning and training should then be modified to include what was learned from the analysis so that all team members are made aware of how it can be prevented in the future.
Let DCI Help You Meet OSHA Fall Protection Requirements for Ladders, Walkways, and More
Design Components is trusted among many industries for providing safety equipment that meets and exceeds OSHA’s fall protection requirements for ladders and other safety equipment. We provide the highest-quality, OSHA-compliant products that put the safety of your roofing team first.