Many building owners in Minnesota are not aware of OSHA’s requirements for roof safety. There are roughly four requirements that owners should keep in mind. They should also look out for the most common safety hazards that workers encounter on roofs.
The first roof safety requirement has to do with fall protection. Professional roofers need fall protection equipment once they are working six feet off the ground while the rest need it once they are four feet off the ground. This equipment can include harnesses and lanyards. Second, OSHA requires roofers to close the roof hatch. Third, one must designate work areas on low-slope roofs.
The fourth requirement involves ladders. Fixed ladders taller than 24 feet and installed on or after November 19, 2018, must use ladder safety system or a personal fall arrest system for fall protection, not cages or wells.
As for roof hazards, they include skylights, roof hatches, soft spots on the deck and steep slopes. With netting or cages, workers can be saved from falling through skylights. A warning line system could signal to workers that they are approaching the roof’s edge. Walk pads can do the same thing as well as protect the roof from foot traffic. Building owners can determine what hazards are present through a safety survey.
Without the proper protection, workers are liable to fall and incur serious injuries or disabilities. Workplace injuries, even when they arise outside of one’s regular workplace, can be covered under the workers’ compensation program regardless of who was at fault. Victims, for their part, might want a lawyer to assist with filing the claim. They may need to mount an appeal because employers have the right to deny payment. Workers’ comp benefits cover medical expenses and a portion of lost income.