Roofing Crew Safety Checklist
It seems like your contractor really knows roofing, but what about their safety on the job? While they’re doing the job, it’s important that they aren’t taking unnecessary risks, ignoring OSHA requirements and hazards, or being careless. Use our questions to get the answers and assurance you need.
Roofing Contractor Safety Record & Commitment
Sure, the contractor says they have a safety culture, but how do you know that’s not just a sales spiel? Dig a little deeper and ask for evidence.
Total Incidence Rate (TIR) is an equation that calculates the number of recordable injuries and/or illnesses that a contractor experiences in a year per 100 full-time employees. Lost Workday Incidence Rate (LWDIR or LWIR) conveys the number of injuries and/or illnesses resulting in lost workdays or restricted work activity. Both TIR and LWDIR are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor annually. How does the contractor measure up against the national averages?
Experience Modification Ratio (EMR) is another safety rate. It’s a calculation developed by the insurance industry that predicts the amount of anticipated workers’ compensation losses to be paid by the contractor in a designated rating period. A lower EMR indicates that the contractor had fewer and/or less serious incidents than what was expected.
A legitimate safety program requires designated resources and defined policies. A contractor with a good safety record isn’t lucky, they’re prepared.
Ask the following:
- Do you have a full-time safety director?
- Can I see a copy of your safety loss control manual?
- What is your TIR, LWDIR, and EMR?
- Who is responsible for enforcing safety policies and what does enforcement entail?
- Can you provide a copy of your substance abuse policy?
Roofing Contractor Certifications/Training
It’s not enough to know what personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear and how to use fall protection equipment; roofing crew members must also be trained to identify hazards and comply with OSHA requirements for jobsite safety. Soon after a new roofing crew member is hired, they’ll complete OSHA 10-hour training, which includes an introduction to OSHA and education on PPE and life-saving equipment, as well as health hazards in construction (e.g., fall protection, electrical, struck by, caught in between). This is just the beginning of what should be an ongoing training program.
Ask the following:
- Have all crew members completed OSHA 10-hour training?
- Has everyone been trained as authorized users of personal fall arrest systems (PFAS)?
- Are any crew members certified as a competent person in PFAS?
- How regularly do you conduct training? How often are individuals retrained/recertified?
Job-Specific Roofing Safety Practices
A good safety record and solid training regimen are good signs. But how will it all be put into practice on your jobsite? No two projects are identical, and the specifics definitely matter. Expect your contractor to do a little reconnaissance before the project starts to identify hazards and draft a site-specific safety plan. A diligent roofing contractor has a series of checks and balances in place to ensure that the plan is thorough and gets implemented. Project managers and safety team members often perform site audits (either scheduled or as a surprise) to observe the safety set-up, check the working order of equipment, ensure PPE is used properly, etc.
Ask the following:
- Have you conducted a job hazard analysis? What hazards have been identified and what countermeasures will you use to mitigate them?
- Who ensures that the temporary fall protection and site safety plan have been implemented properly at the job start and throughout the project?
- How often is safety PPE and fall protection equipment inspected?
- Do you have a rescue plan in the event of a fall?
The 13 questions outlined here will help you determine whether safety is something the roofing contractor you’re evaluating only talks about and rarely implements, or whether they’re the real deal. No truer statement was uttered; better safe than sorry.
Contact D. C. Taylor Co. at 319.731.4118 to talk about how we can safely perform your next roofing project.