WELCOME TO UMA UNIVERSITY
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WELCOME TO UMA UNIVERSITY
Signed in as:
There is no substitute for safety. Always use extreme caution, care, and good judgment when working on or around a roof or a pool. Adhere to all OSHA safety rules and personal protection/safety equipment guidelines.
Ladders are tools. Many of the basic safety rules that apply to most tools also apply to the safe use of a ladder:
The Three Point-of-Contact Climb
When climbing a ladder, it is safest to utilize Three Points-of-Contact because it minimizes the chances of slipping and falling from the ladder. At all times during ascent or descent, the climber must face the ladder and have two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with the ladder cleats and/or side rails. In this way, the climber is not likely to become unstable in the event one limb slips during the climb. It is important to note that the climber must not carry any objects in either hand that can interfere with a firm grip on the ladder. Otherwise, Three Points-of-Contact with the ladder cannot be adequately maintained and the chance of falling is increased in the event a hand or foot slip occurs. Factors contributing to falls from ladders include haste, sudden movement, lack of attention, the condition of the ladder (worn or damaged), the user’s age or physical condition, or both, and the user’s footwear. Although the user’s weight or size typically does not increase the likelihood of a fall, improper climbing posture creates user clumsiness and may cause falls. Reduce your chances of falling during the climb by:
Before beginning the job, focus on identifying fall protection needs. Survey the roof to determine if there are pre-installed anchorages available that can be used. If not, then plan immediately to identify those systems needed to protect workers from falls and have them in place before the workers report to the job. . Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.
Many workers have been injured when the roofs they were working on collapsed from under them. Employers must determine the structural integrity of the roof and take all necessary precautions to protect the workers before the job begins.
If workers notice signs of structural deterioration (for example, dry rot), a competent person should evaluate the area.
Other considerations for a safe construction site:
Loose material and hand-held equipment can create tripping hazards on the roof surface. To minimize exposure to fall hazards, employers can stage materials so that workers on the roof have quick and safe access to them. While handling material on the roof, the worker should hold the material on the side of his or her body that faces the down-sloped edge to prevent being struck by the materials if they are dropped. Material can also be staged so it cannot slide off the roof edge and potentially strike a worker on the ground. Slide guards can help to keep material from sliding off the roof. Establishing a restricted area around the perimeter of the project can also keep workers out of the danger zone where debris, tools or materials may fall to the ground. The area should be posted with signs that warn of the potential hazard.
Protect Workers on the Ground
During the demolition phase, protect workers on the ground from falling debris by controlling how debris leaves the roof. Consider using an all-terrain forklift to elevate a disposal box to the roof level. This method makes cleanup after the job particularly easy.
Employers must provide roofers fall protection equipment that meets OSHA requirements whenever they work 6 feet or more above a lower level. There are fall protection systems available that can provide roofers the flexibility they need during demolition and roof installation. Some are more efficient than others because, in many cases, the employer can use the same system for both processes. Each phase of roof replacement has different challenges, but the risk of falling remains constant. Contractors may be able to protect their workers using the following equipment:
Personal fall arrest system
A PFAS is a tool available to roofers during replacement jobs. In fact, a PFAS is the system of choice for many roofers. However, a breakdown in any component of a PFAS could be disastrous for a worker. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on selecting, installing and using PFAS components correctly. Some PFASs include special elevated anchor assemblies that permit the system to protect workers even when they stand near the anchor locations. Certain anchorage assemblies rotate or offer extension arms to improve mobility and prevent lifelines from contacting the roof surface. This is particularly useful during roof demolition when a line could catch on a nail or debris.
Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS)
A PFAS is designed to safely stop a fall before the worker strikes a lower level. It includes three major components:
Remember that workers must use full-body harnesses in fall arrest systems. Body belts can cause serious injury during a fall, and OSHA prohibits their use as part of fall arrest systems.
Horizontal lifeline: An engineered horizontal lifeline system, when used as part of a PFAS, is another way to increase the area in which a worker is protected. Install the system following the manufacturer’s instructions and under the supervision of a qualified person. Horizontal lifelines must be designed to maintain a safety factor of at least two (twice the impact load).
Instead of attaching themselves to a fixed anchor, workers may be able to use adjustable rope grabs, another available component of a PFAS. This inexpensive and very popular system is the fall protection system of choice for many roofers. Rope grabs allow workers to adjust the length of the lifeline and can be useful when workers are moving about the roof frequently. The anchored ropes can be as long as necessary, making this form of fall protection highly versatile. Roofers who use rope grabs need to constantly take up the slack out of the line. Too much slack could allow a worker to free fall more than six feet off the roof if they slip. Training and monitoring are critical to the safe use of rope grabs.
Rope Grab: Ensure that a stopping mechanism prevents workers using rope grabs from backing down over the roof edge. This mechanism could be an added attachment or a simple knot in the rope.
While fall restraint systems are not mentioned in OSHA’s fall protection rules, OSHA will accept a properly utilized fall restraint system instead of a personal fall arrest system when the restraint system is rigged so that the worker cannot get to the fall hazard. In effect, (if properly used) the system tethers a worker in a manner that will not allow a fall of any distance. A fall restraint system is comprised of a body belt or body harness, an anchorage, connectors, and other necessary equipment. Other components typically include a lanyard, and may also include a lifeline and other devices.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult a qualified person to ensure proper installation of anchor points. Fall restraint may be a viable way to provide fall protection in situations in which the employer has concerns about the adequacy of available anchorage points for fall arrest equipment.
Temporary guardrails: Removable guardrail systems can offer roofers effective protection when installed around the roof perimeter. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a qualified person, for proper guardrail installation. This person could be the owner, the supervisor, or any other worker who has extensive knowledge, training and experience with fall protection and is able to solve problems relating to fall protection.
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