Although widely used in Europe, green roof systems are
relatively new to the U.S. As a result, U.S. roofing contractors
just now are becoming more familiar with green roof system design,
installation and maintenance. They are realizing technical issues
such as waterproofing, insulation, root barriers and drainage must
be evaluated along with suitability of soils and plantings
comprising a green roof system. Roofing contractors also need to
pay special attention to fall-protection issues related to green
roof systems that may not arise during conventional roof system
installations or maintenance.
Green roof system installation requires a broader analysis of
fall protection—a larger variety of workers may need to
perform tasks on the completed green roof system than would be
needed on a conventional roof system.
Although roofing workers are subject to Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) construction standards and associated
fall-protection systems found in 29 CFR 1926.500-3, landscaping
workers, who may be subcontracted by roofing contractors to install
green roof system plantings, might be subject to OSHA general
industry standards for fall protection. The deciding factor is
whether the work landscaping workers are performing would be
considered construction, alteration or repair according to
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