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Protecting Roofing Workers Part VI

Continuing our series this week in Protecting Roofing Workers Part VI to look at ways to protect rooftop workers specifically with regards to Lifts.  As a reminder falls are the leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths among roofers. Be sure to check out Protecting Roofing Workers Part I, Part II, Part IIIPart IV, & Part V published earlier this month.

Safe Debris Disposal

Employers must consider worker safety when selecting a method for handling debris.  If not managed properly, debris can become a trip hazard and contribute to falls. Falling debris can hit workers on the ground below.  One effective method employers can use to manage debris is to use a forklift to raise a collection box to the roof level. When the box is full, or when the job is complete, the box of debris can be lowered to the ground without putting workers at risk. As an added benefit, this practice makes the cleanup process more efficient.

Electrical Safety

Most electrocutions involving roofers usually result from contact with overhead power lines (service drops are the most common).  Workers can also be exposed to potential electrocution hazards by contacting electrical conduit that may be buried in old roofing material that must be removed. Employers must protect workers from electrical hazards by de-energizing the circuits, grounding, or by guarding it effectively by insulation  (29 CFR1926.416(a)(1)).

Integrity of Older Buildings

 Protecting Roofing Workers Part VIBefore work begins, employers must ensure that any roof to be worked on has the strength and structural integrity to safely support workers (29 CFR 1926.501(a)(2)). Sometimes it may be necessary to inspect a roof from the inside of the structure to identify integrity issues.

Protecting Roofing Workers – Part VII will be available on the blog next week!




OSHA News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Florida Framing Contractor
For Exposing Employees to Dangerous Falls

OSHA News Release JACKSONVILLE, FL – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Desouza Framing Inc. for exposing employees to dangerous falls at two northwest Florida worksites. The Jacksonville-based residential framing contractor faces proposed penalties of $199,178.

OSHA News ReleaseOSHA inspected a worksite in Jacksonville in October 2017 after observing the company’s employees performing roofing activities at heights up to 11 feet without fall protection. The Agency conducted a second inspection two months later at a jobsite in St. Johns where inspectors saw employees working at heights of up to 22 feet without fall protection. OSHA cited the employer for two willful citations for failing to ensure the use of fall protection. The inspections were part of the Agency’s Regional Emphasis Program for Falls in Construction.

“Employers are required to provide employees with fall protection when they work at heights of six feet or higher,” said Brian Sturtecky, OSHA Jacksonville Area Office Director. “Desouza Framing Inc. is putting workers at risk of serious injury by failing to comply with the Agency’s fall protection standards.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit


Fixed Fall Protection Access Ramps

The fixed fall protection systems manufactured by Fall Protection Systems have the option to include safe access systems.  The AR-Series Fall Protection Systems are designed to work in a variety of applications (for example truck tarping, truck or rail hatch opening/closing, rail loading/unloading, maintenance of machinery or vehicles, … etc.). All systems include an AR1-P Vehicle Access System with: 3′ x 5′ Work Platform, Staircase, Handrail, and Counterbalanced Gangway.Fixed Fall Protection Access Ramps

These systems all comply with OSHA, MSHA, ANSI, and CSA fall protection requirements.

Self-install kit options are also available in many of the same configurations and include the necessary vertical support columns, rigid rail overhead truss, and full user set (harness, self retracting lifeline, & trolley).

Systems with Fixed Fall Protection Access Ramps Include:

  • 20′ – 40′ – 60′ Coverage Options
  • Full System Components
  • Includes Access Platform, Staircase, and Gangway
  • Professionally Engineered
  • Step by Step Easy Installation Instructions
  • Complete Training Materials
  • 5 Year Full Warranty
  • 1 Complete User Set (includes: Trolley, Carabiner, Self-Retracting Lifeline, & Safety Harness)

Learn more about fall protection kits with access ramps here.


Protecting Roofing Workers Part V

Continuing our series this week in Protecting Roofing Workers Part V to look at ways to protect rooftop workers specifically with regards to Lifts.  As a reminder falls are the leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths among roofers. Be sure to check out Protecting Roofing Workers Part I, Part II, Part III, & Part IV published earlier this month.

Aerial Lifts

Protecting Roofing Workers Part VEmployers can use aerial lifts to enable workers to work at the edge of a roof while standing in the lift basket. Employers must only permit authorized workers to operate extensible and articulating boom platforms (29 CFR 1926.453(b)(2)(ii)). Employers must ensure that the controls for extending and articulating arms are tested daily before use  OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION 2 4 to be sure that they are functioning safely (29 CFR 1926.453(b)(2)(i)).  With respect to extensible and articulating boom platforms, employers must ensure that:

  • workers stand firmly on the basket floor and do not sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices for a work position (29 CFR 1926.453(b)(2)(iv)); and
  • workers are tied-off to the boom or basket (29 CFR 1926.453(b)(2)(v)).

See additional OSHA requirements for aerial lifts in 29 CFR 1926.453.

All-Terrain Forklifts

Protecting Roofing Workers Part VAll-terrain forklifts are covered under 29 CFR 1926.602(c). Employers use these vehicles for raising equipment and materials to the roof and, in conjunction with manufacturer approved
man-baskets, to raise workers (29 CFR 1926.602(c)(1)(ii)). When elevating workers, a safety platform firmly secured to the lifting carriage and/or forks must be used (29 CFR 1926.602(c (1)(viii)(A)).

Employers must ensure that forklift operators are appropriately trained (29 CFR 1926.602(d); 29 CFR 1910.178(l)).


Protecting Roofing Workers – Part VI will be available on the blog next week!


Effective Strategies for Crisis Response

When a crisis occurs, how communication is handled can have a big impact on the outcome. In order to notify the public of a crisis, it’s time to reach out in a variety of ways to reach a wide demographic. Know what your message is going to be and monitor the situation carefully throughout the crisis. When you have a solid plan in place, you are in the position to save the lives of the individuals you are trying to protect. Keep your communications direct and provide safety tips whenever possible.

crisis management

Take Action Right Away

Consider the recent event at Starbucks that prompted outrage from loyal customers everywhere. Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, two black men who sat down at a Philadelphia Starbucks to talk real estate, did so without ordering anything. The barista called the police on April 12, 2018, after one of the men asked for the bathroom key and she refused, stating it was for paying customers only. The police arrested the two men, creating a big protest over the unfair arrest. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson took action immediately, admitting that the company was wrong. He called the men, apologized, and began developing a plan. Quick action helped Starbucks take control of the situation and has helped minimize the negative impact on the brand.

Continue to Monitor the Situation

Once you have maximized your audience, you have to continue to monitor what is going on. Social media provides a huge platform for companies and individuals to make a statement, comment and engage in conversation. After a public relations crisis, you must monitor these channels and reach out to your customers in a direct, informative way. For example, you can send out a text blast to your customers regarding updates on the situation and what you are going to do to resolve the issue. Starbucks carefully monitored social media and responded directly to criticisms for the public to view. Starbucks has made the decision to close all Starbucks on May 29, 2018 and provide anti-bias training for all employees.

There are many online critics to Starbucks closing for a day to provide anti-bias training, but Starbucks is sticking to their decision. Starbucks responds to critics in a very real way, stating that anti-bias training will make Starbucks a safe place for everyone to enjoy. They are standing strong against the fierce criticism.

Be Clear About Your Objectives

When you are trying to regain the public trust, you have to be clear about your objectives. When you make a mistake, determine how you are going to resolve the problem. While you can’t predict why a crisis is going to occur, you can manage how you relay your response to the public. Starbucks has taken backlash for closing all stores on May 29, 2018, but continues to be clear about the objectives. Unconscious bias led to the arrest of the two black men, and Starbucks is taking steps to make real changes in their practices. They have responded to critics in real, actionable ways, defending the rights of all people to simply sit in a Starbucks without ordering anything without fear of being arrested.

When your company undergoes any type of public relations crisis, you must act fast but carefully. It is best to take responsibility for the actions of your employees, but make sure that the situation is assessed carefully before you make bold statements. Monitor the fallout of any discussions on social media and respond with the same message. You may learn more about your company values in a time of crisis than at times when things are running smoothly. Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and use direct forms of communication such as text messaging to reach out to your customers.

Author Biography:
Joel Lee

Joel Lee is the SEO marketing specialist at Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases.


Proper Ladder Safety Is Important

A worker at an industrial company in Danvers, Massachusetts died Tuesday as the result of a fall from a ladder.  Proper ladder safety is important to consider for each task that requires the use of a ladder.  This contractor was using the ladder to repair a piece of equipment at ITW Devcon.  Upon falling he sustained severe upper body injuries that caused his death.

The incident will now be under investigation by the District Attorney’s office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Proper Ladder Safety

Here are some tips from OSHA on proper ladder safety when utilizing portable ladders.

  • Read and follow all labels/markings on the ladder.
  • Avoid electrical hazards! – Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
  • Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
  • Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram).
  • Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
  • Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
  • Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
  • Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
  • Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
  • Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
  • Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
  • An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
  • The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram).
  • A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
  • Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
  • Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder’s load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.

Roofing Contractor Cited by OSHA

After exposing employees to safety hazards a New Jersey roofing contractor has been cited by OSHA and faces up to $221,000 in fines.  John Prevete Framing LLC was performing demotion work on a Passaic County, New Jersey.

Roofing Contractor Cited

The site was inspected by OSHA on October 2nd, 2017 after a referral from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Administration.  Inspectors found that the workers were exposed to falls from using ladders that were unsafe and not provided proper fall protection.  Additional investigation determined that employees were also being exposed to asbestos and that they were not properly trained.  John Prevete Framing, LLC has been previously cited in 2013, 2016, and 2017.

“Exposure to dangerous fall and asbestos hazards can be prevented if appropriate safety requirements are followed,” said Lisa Levy, Hasbrouck Heights OSHA area director in an OSHA news release. “This employer’s repeated disregard of OSHA standards continues to jeopardize the safety of workers.”


GEAPS Webinar: Overhead Fall Protection: Cable & Rigid Rail Systems

Fall Protection Systems was pleased to partner with GEAPS this week to present a live webinar Overhead Fall Protection: Cable & Rigid Rail Systems.  

The webinar was designed to educate both end users of fall protection, as well as environmental health and safety professionals, on overhead fall protection systems available.

GEAPS Fall Protection Webinar

During the presentation our team of fall protection experts compared and contrasted the two types of horizontal fall protection systems (Cable & Rigid Rail Systems).  The analysis included details of product performance, product applications, and important decision consideration for the end users.


Steven Csuha is the National Accounts Manager for Fall Protection Systems. His role at FPS includes providing turnkey fall protection solutions for customers. Fall protection system customization and overcoming site specific challenges are among his specialties. Providing excellent customer service and keeping workers at heights safe is a top priority for him.

Rick Gass is the Director of Engineering at Fall Protection Systems. His role at FPS is to oversee incoming and outgoing customer information regarding their fall protection needs.  He identifies potential risks and solutions for customer work sites; then compiles the information into a defined scope of work to provide the best and most cost effective fall protection solution.

Listen to the Recording

If you missed the live webinar, you can register here to listen to the recording!

Future Webinar

Fall Protection Systems will be presenting another live webinar on Wednesday, May 9th.  The topic is Fall Protection: From Work Plan to Rescue Plan.  Attendees will receive downloadable templates that are ready to use for fall protection work plans and fall protection rescue plans.  If you would like to sign up for this free webinar, register here.

Cable & Rigid Rail Systems


Protecting Roofing Workers Part IV

Continuing our series this week in Protecting Roofing Workers Part IV to look at ways to protect rooftop workers.  As a reminder falls are the leading cause of work-related injuries and deaths among roofers. Be sure to check out Protecting Roofing Workers Part I, Part II, & Part III published earlier this month.


Scaffolds must be designed by a qualified person and must be constructed and loaded in accord with that design (29 CFR 1926.451(a)(6)).Protecting Roofing Workers Part IVEmployers must ensure that only experienced and trained workers erect, move, dismantle or alter scaffolds. That work must be done under the supervision and direction of a competent person qualified in scaffold erection, moving, dismantling, or alteration (29 CFR 1926.451(f)(7)).


Workers are most vulnerable to fall hazards when climbing on or off a scaffold. Therefore, employers need to provide safe scaffold access. When scaffold platforms are more than 2 feet above or below a point of access, workers must use portable ladders, hook-on ladders, attachable ladders, stair towers, stairway type ladders, ramps, walkways, integral prefabricated scaffold access, or direct access from another scaffold, structure, personnel hoist or similar surface (29 CFR 1926.451(e)(1)).


Employers must ensure that each platform on all working levels of scaffolds are fully planked or decked between the front uprights and the guardrail supports as per 29 CFR 1926.451(b (1). The space between adjacent platform units and the space between the platform and the uprights must be no more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, except where the employer can demonstrate that a wider space is necessary (29 CFR 1926.451(b)(1)(i)).


Employers must ensure that workers on a scaffold more than 10 feet above a lower level are protected from falls (29 CFR 1926.451(g) (1)). Employers often use guardrails to provide this protection.

Guardrails used to comply with OSHA’s fall protection requirements for scaffolds must be installed along all open sides and ends of platforms (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(i)). And generally, top rails must be installed between 36 or 38 and 45 inches above the platform surface depending on the type and age of the scaffold (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ii)). Toprails must be able to withstand, without failure, a force (applied in any downward or horizontal direction at any point along its top edge) of at least 100 pounds for single-point and two-point adjustable suspension scaffolds and of at least 200 pounds for all other scaffolds (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(vii)).

When mid rails are used, employers must ensure that they are installed at a height approximately midway between the top edge of the guardrail system and the platform surface (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(iv)).

When screens and mesh are used, employers must ensure they extend from the top edge of the guardrail system to the scaffold platform, and along the entire opening between the supports (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(v)).

Mid rails, screens, mesh, intermediate vertical members, solid panels, and equivalent structural members of a guardrail system must be able to withstand, without failure, a force applied in any downward or horizontal direction at any point along the mid rail or other member of at least 75 pounds for guardrail systems with a minimum 100 pound top rail capacity, and at least 150 pounds for guardrail systems with a minimum 200 pound top rail capacity (29 CFR 1926.451(g)(4)(ix)).

Falling Object Protection

Employers are required to protect workers from objects falling from scaffolds (29 CFR 1926.451(h)(1)). Where there is a danger of tools, materials, or equipment falling from a scaffold and striking workers below, employers must follow a series of requirements (29 CFR 1926.451(h)(2)). The area below the scaffold must be barricaded and workers must not enter the hazard area (29 CFR 1926.451(h)(2)(i)). Also, toe boards generally must be erected along the edge of platforms more than 10 feet above lower levels for a distance sufficient to protect workers below (29 CFR 1926.451(h)(2)(ii)). When used, toe boards must be at least 3½ inches high from the top edge of the toe board to the level of the walking/working surface and must be securely fastened at the outermost edge of the platform and have no more than 1/4 inch clearance above the walking/working surface (29 CFR 1926.451(h)(4)(ii)).


Employers must designate a qualified person to train workers how to recognize and control the hazards associated with the type of scaffold being used (29 CFR 1926.454(a)).

Employers must also designate a competent person to train workers who erect, disassemble, move, repair, maintain, operate, or inspect scaffolds to recognize any hazards associated with these activities on the scaffold systems they will use (29 CFR 1926.454(b)). Training must be provided in a language the workers being trained can understand.

  • Employers must retrain workers when: changes at the worksite present new hazards;
  • changes in the type of scaffold, fall protection systems, falling object protection systems, or other equipment present new hazards; and
  • inadequacies in work involving scaffolds indicate that the worker has not retained the requisite proficiency.

For additional information on what must be included in scaffold training, see 29 CFR 1926.454 – Training Requirements.

Protecting Roofing Workers – Part V will be available on the blog next week!