Protect Workers on the Roof: Fall Hazard Survey and Permanent Fall Protection
The topic of fall protection has generally been viewed as a construction concern, not so much from a general industry (or building owner) perspective. When OSHA’s final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems took effect on Jan. 17, 2017, employer’s workers now must have the same protections as rooftop construction workers. This updated ruling means that building owners need to ensure that maintenance and service workers are protected while they are on the roof. D. C. Taylor Co. can assist building owners in analyzing their risk. We want everyone to be as safe working on the roof as we are.
Fall Hazard Survey
Our team of experienced technicians can perform a fall hazard survey of the roof. They will discuss with the building owner/facilities professional what activities are typically performed on the roof, who and how many are performing this work, and the frequency of the activities. They’ll ask about (and identify) fall hazards associated with the work being performed.
Once a roof plan and construction detail drawings are provided, we’ll gather information on the roof about access and egress, general hazards, and existing permanent fall protection equipment. Skylights (type, quantity, and dimensions) will be noted. For a metal roof, the gauge, slope, panel type, and dimensions will also be identified.
Afterwards, a D. C. Taylor Co. technician will provide a verbal report containing the following:
- A review of the Fall Hazard Survey input form.
- A description of the activities that create an exposure.
- Identification of fall hazards.
- Recommendations to mitigate the exposure.
Customers will also be provided a roof plan identifying the location and type of recommended permanent fall protection systems and shop drawings showing layout profiles and anchorage details.
Permanent Fall Protection Equipment Installation
From the fall hazard survey, our roof technician can give the building owner options to protect their workers. Some of these options include:
- Fall protection on fixed ladder access.
- Roof pathways to mark the boundaries.
- Single point anchors.
- Horizontal lifelines.
- Skylight screens and nets.
All systems are designed and approved by a qualified person or engineer. Once the decision is made on the best option and a contract is initiated, our experienced crews will evaluate the roof (i.e. the roof deck, insulation, skylights and other openings) and supporting members to determine that conditions are acceptable to install the specific fall protection equipment. Crew members also confirm layout dimensions and system requirements with the manufacturer’s roof plan. All applicable surfaces are prepared using the methods recommended by the manufacturer for achieving satisfactory substrate conditions. The permanent fall protection equipment is installed by D. C. Taylor Co. personnel who are manufacturer trained and/or certified, and in accordance with manufacturer instructions and recommendations.
Along with the installed system(s), at project close-out, the facilities professional is provided:
- Product data – detailed product specifications, including performance requirement information.
- Drawings – a roof plan stamped by a professional engineer and a layout of the system where the equipment/systems have been installed.
- Operations and maintenance data – an installation certificate, equipment manufacturer’s owner’s manual, and calculations, such as the number of people that can safely use the system(s).
The manufacturer warranty(s) for all installed systems is provided.
Instruction and Inspection
It’s not enough to just install the equipment and leave; workers must be trained in the proper use of the system(s). D. C. Taylor Co. will train your workers on the following:
- Identification of fall hazards.
- The basics of the installed system(s).
- How to properly put on a body harness, PPE, lanyards, connectors, carabiners, and snap hooks.
- Descent and rescue.
- Maintenance and inspection of the system(s).
- Storage of equipment.
Users should inspect the equipment prior to each use. At regular intervals, a more detailed inspection should be conducted by a competent person and manufacturer-certified installer; D. C. Taylor Co. can also perform this inspection. An annual inspection of the system is included in our quote for installation. Inspections are critical to ensure equipment remains in good working order, which is impacted by wear, weather conditions, and plant emissions.
Any concerns or questions that you have after the installation, a Competent Person in fall protection is only a phone call away. We can help with any questions or needs that you have. Fall protection is a big part of D. C. Taylor Co.’s business. Because our team members live it every day as roofing professionals, we take it very seriously. Let us help you protect your personnel from falls and ensure that at the end of each shift, they all go home.
Contact D. C. Taylor Co. today for help making your roof safer.