When you are preparing to begin a roofing job, you must assess
potential hazards at the job site and require that each worker use
personal protective equipment (PPE) to maintain a safe working
environment. General PPE includes gloves, American National
Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved hard hats, eye protection with
side shields and protective footwear.
But often, specific roofing activities require additional types
of PPE. An example would be the use of respiratory protection by
roofing workers applying solvent-based bonding adhesive on a fully
adhered single-ply roof membrane and substrate in a poorly
ventilated roof area. Another example would be the use of full-face
shields and hard hats by kettle operators to protect their faces
from hot bitumen splashes. However, one potential job-site hazard
often is overlooked—noise.
Ten million Americans have suffered irreversible noise-induced
hearing loss, and 30 million more are exposed to dangerous noise
levels each day, according to the National Institute on Deafness
and Other Communication Disorders. Noise hazards at construction
sites can originate from a variety of sources, including equipment
operated by roofing workers during roof system installation,
retrofit or tear-off. Sometimes, noise levels generated from other
heavy construction equipment, such as pile drivers, material
handlers, concrete breakers and earthmovers, can exceed permissible
noise levels as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA). The obligation placed on you to protect your
employees from all noise exposures is clear, regardless of the
source of noise or the trade responsible for loud...
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