Fall protection is required for residential roofing. Even though some think residential roofing can be considered a grey area, if you are working for hire, you are subject to OSHA regulations, and in this article, we’ll give you the 4 steps to preparing you to work safely on residential roofs.Fall protection is required for residential roofing. Even though some think residential roofing can be considered a grey area, if you are working for hire, you are subject to OSHA regulations, and in this article, we’ll give you the 4 steps to preparing you to work safely on residential roofs.
Do you have state-specific laws that may differ from federal OSHA, such as CalOSHA? Look into that standard if you have one. If not, OSHA regulation 1926.501 (b)(13) is the law that applies to your work, and it states
This is where you perform your hazard analysis, build a fall protection and rescue plan. Build them to OSHA regulations.
1926.501(b)(4)(i) Each employee on walking/working surfaces shall be protected from falling through holes (including skylights) more than 6 feet (1.8 m) above lower levels, by personal fall arrest systems, covers, or guardrail systems erected around such holes.
1926.501(b)(11) “Steep roofs.” Each employee on a steep roof with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems.
Is your roof 30’ or 40’? What fasteners will you be using? What body wear? What is your walking/working surface? These are some of the questions you’ll be asking at this step.
Depending on the environment there are two forms of protection restraint.
Passive Fall Restraint is where a worker does not use a personal fall arrest system (PFAS). Some forms of passive fall protection are guardrails or barricades placed near an edge or walking on a commercial roof in a completely guard railed section to check HVAC components
Active Fall Restraint involves the worker wearing a full body harness and a complete personal fall arrest system. In the case of holiday decorations, a good solution would be to utilize a roofer’s bucket kit. The roofer’s bucket kit includes a reusable roof anchor suitable for most residential applications, a vertical lifeline assembly to use as a positioning device, and a full body harness.
Residential Roofing has some variety to the items in your PFAS. This step is where most of the research and work will occur.
You did your hazard analysis, fall plan, and rescue plan in step 2, now you ensure that you have the right products to work according to plan. In residential roofing, it’s common to use a permanent or reusable roof anchor with a vertical lifeline assembly, attached to a full body safety harness. This setup is very popular, and you can buy everything in one kit. These systems are very versatile and can be used in arrest and restraint. Different lengths of lead on your rope can be determined by your environment. Don’t forget tool tethering.
You have a plan, you’ve selected the gear, and it’s time to execute your residential roofing work. Adhere to the law and manufacturer’s guidelines for use. Our user manual states:
“The roof structure anchor location must be capable of supporting a minimum of 5,000 lbs. tensile load or shall be designed, installed, and used as follows: (i) as part of a complete personal fall arrest system which maintains a minimum safety factor of two; and (ii) under the supervision of a “qualified person” per OSHA 1926.502.”
Make sure you install your anchors per the user manual to avoid failure of arrest. Following your plan and the manufacturer’s suggested use can prevent injuries and keep you working for a long time.
OSHA does require residential roofing to have fall protection. To learn more, go to our website www.maltadynamics.com
It all starts with a plan. Get our Fall Protection Plan.
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