March 2013
Search    

Falling for safety

Falling for safety not ratednot ratednot ratednot ratednot rated

Is OSHA's steep-slope fall-protection standard in workers' best interests?

by Thomas R. Shanahan, CAE
1 person has posted a comment


In 1994, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued Subpart M—Fall Protection in its construction industry regulations. In it were new requirements that were, to say the least, unsettling for the roofing industry. Foremost was the new requirement to provide fall protection whenever a fall distance is 6 feet or more above a lower level. Previously, the trigger height was 16 feet.

Since 1994, the roofing industry generally has adapted to the federal 6-foot trigger height though a number of states, for example California and Oregon, have trigger heights that exceed the 6-foot federal OSHA requirement. Other state-plan states also provide differing fall-protection options from the federal requirements. These regulatory variations contribute to the lack of consensus about which fall-protection options best protect workers partly because there are so many variables on every roofing project to consider.

The dilemma

Shortly after Subpart M was published, NRCA approached OSHA regarding the standard's application to steep-slope roofing work, specifically residential roofing work. OSHA defines steep-slope roofs as those with slopes greater than 4:12 (18 degrees). The roofing industry was concerned fall-protection options for work on steep-slope roofs were too limited and did not provide sufficient roofing worker protection. The regulation only allowed for personal fall-arrest (PFA), guardrail and/or safety-net systems, which OSHA defines as conventional...



Web exclusive: Click below for more information.
OSHA fall-protection timeline



To read the article in its entirety, please log in or register (registration is free).

Log in or register for FREE access to this article and other Professional Roofing online content.

Not a professionalroofing.net user?

Register now for free access
  • Full access to every article
  • Online Web exclusive information
  • Photo gallery
  • Breaking news
  • Online classified ads

Already a professionalroofing.net user?

Log in now

User name:

Password:

 


Login help
Click here to have your user name and password emailed to you.




Comments (1) Login to post a comment or rating

Posted by proroofingnw5 on 3/13/2013, User rating 
not ratednot ratednot ratednot ratednot rated
Report Abuse
This is a roofing contractor safety issue worth taking note of.

NRCA NRCA