Safe Solutions

Identifying obscure hazards

Many hazards associated with roof system removal and installation stem from using tools and equipment to perform various tasks; heights at which work takes place; using chemicals or hazardous materials; and adverse weather conditions. Additionally, there may be potentially hazardous processes taking place inside buildings where roofing work is being performed or at adjacent buildings. For example, rooftop ventilation outlets may be discharging gases, vapors and dusts that can harm roofing workers.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) requires you to inform your workers about the hazardous chemicals to which they are exposed. This can be a nearly impossible task if you are unaware of the nature of manufacturing or processing operations conducted at a building on which your employees are working.

However, OSHA's Hazard Communication standard places an affirmative duty on employers operating the processes conducted inside buildings to inform other employers working at the site about precautionary measures needed to protect their employees from hazardous chemicals.

OSHA also specifies worker exposure to specific gases, vapors, fumes, dusts and mists exceeding individual concentrations set out in 29 CFR 1926.55 must be avoided. To avoid exposure, OSHA requires you to implement administrative or engineering controls in an effort to reduce air contaminants to a safer level.