Safe Solutions

Proper tool training

Frank had worked as a foreman for Warner Roofing Co. for several years. He took safety seriously and worked hard to ensure no one on his crew suffered a serious injury.

One summer afternoon, Frank and his crew were installing asphalt shingles on a residential, steep-slope roof. He and the crew had discussed potential safety hazards, including falls and cuts, and ways to avoid them. The workers had installed appropriate fall-protection systems. They installed slide guards as work platforms, and workers wore personal fall-arrest systems because the roof slope was 9-in-12 (37 degrees). Additionally, Frank made sure his workers wore proper personal protective equipment. Ladders were set on firm ground at the proper ratio: 1 foot away from the building for every 4 feet in eave height, extended 3 feet beyond the eave and securely tied off.

The job required four roofing workers. Two workers were operating compressed air nail guns to fasten the shingles. The workers had been trained to operate the nail guns safely. Frank also made sure the crew did not damage or put kinks in the hoses, which could cause the nail guns to malfunction. He insisted the workers hang the hoses over the house's ridge and toward the work area to minimize tripping hazards and keep the hoses from tangling with workers' lifelines.

When work was completed for the day, Frank and the crew tied in the roof and began to pack up the tools and equipment. As the workers were putting their nail guns away, one young worker, Ryan, suddenly cried out in pain. Although he knew how to operate the nail gun, he incorrectly had disconnected the air hose from the nail gun, loosening the quick-release connection and not realizing air remained in the hose. The force of the remaining air snapped the connection-end of the hose out of his hands, and the hose struck his head just above his right eye.