Any reputable commercial roofing contractor knows that safety is of the utmost importance on the job site. Keeping an eye on the trades you hired when you have a project underway at your facility, is a wise move. Worker and building occupant’s safety depend on you hiring the right contractor. Refer to the following guidelines, informed by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to ensure that your contractors are taking safety seriously.
Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Job site conditions will dictate the type of PPE required by workers on your construction project. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Safety glasses or face shields when cutting metal and other materials or working with chemical substances
- Respiratory system suitable to protect workers from airborne hazards
- Heavy boots or work shoes with toe protection and non-slip soles
- Gloves that fit snugly and are appropriate for the task at hand
- A hard hat in good condition where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, falling or flying objects, or electrical shock and burns
- A properly fitting and inspected Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) when working at heights
Contractors should be inspecting their ladders for visible defects on a periodic basis, as well as after any occurrence that could affect their safe use. Each worker should be trained on how to recognize hazards related to ladders and follow procedures to minimize those hazards. Secure footing for all ladders is important. Ladders must be used only on stable and level surfaces unless they are secured to prevent accidental displacement. Ladders must not be placed in areas of traffic, such as driveways or doorways unless they are secured.
Lifts, Hoists, and Cranes
Forklifts, hoists, and cranes should be operated only by employees ages 18 and older who have had the appropriate training and licensing. All equipment must meet standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and be inspected each day. When equipment is not in operation, it should be parked and locked with lifts down and brakes engaged.
When working on a low slope roof without parapet walls of at least 42” and no present or practical guardrails, an edge warning system is required. The edge warning line should consist of ropes, wires, or chains, and supporting stanchions. It also needs to be erected no less than 6 feet from the roof edge and no less than 10 feet when mechanical equipment is used. The edge warning system should be flagged at least every 6 feet with high-visibility material. When workers are required to perform operations outside of the edge warning system, a safety monitor should be deployed and the workers should wear a properly designed Personal Fall Arrest System. On roofs 50 feet or less in width, the use of a safety monitoring system alone is permitted.
Hazardous and Noxious Materials
At job sites that require the use of hazardous materials, these substances must be appropriately labeled with a hazard warning and properly handled. Workers must have access to the Safety Data Sheet for each substance at the location. Most roofing materials are not hazardous; however, building occupants can feel impacted by the smell of asphalt products, adhesives, coatings, solvents, or other materials used during a roofing project. In advance, the roofer should perform a visual inspection to identify vents, windows, and air intakes that need to be addressed or monitored to protect building occupants from fumes and odors.
For high-quality construction with an unwavering focus on worker, job site, and building occupant safety, consider Innovative Roofing Group, serving clients in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Call us at 404-594-6038 to learn more about our comprehensive roofing and sheet metal services.