Residential Roofing Industry in Denver Under Fire For Hazardous Working Conditions2 min read
The residential roofing industry of Denver and its area communities is getting cited in record numbers for failing to provide adequate training and fall prevention equipment to help keep workers saf
e. As a result, OSHA is teaming up with the Colorado Roofing Association, the Better Business Bureau and various other organizations.
“In the past six months, we have received 63 complaints related to unsafe work practices, and this is the beginning of the roofing season. The cost of providing fall prevention equipment is nominal compared with the cost of a senseless loss of life and livelihood,” said OSHA’s Englewood area director David Nelson. “Falls from heights of 6 to 15 feet accounted for 24 percent of all fatal falls in 2012.”
According to OSHA, even the most experienced roofer working on composite shingles, which about 75% of all houses in America have, are at an increased risk for permanent injury or death from falls, because they’re exposed to unpredictable fall hazards. Some such causes include sudden gusts of wind, uneven sheathing, loose materials, and even surfaces that become slick when wet. For reasons such as these, employers are required to train their workers who are exposed to fall hazards, which would enable them to recognize such hazards and thusly minimize them.
In addition to training, employers need also provide workers with fall protection equipment, which has to meet OSHA requirements, when they’re working six or more feet above a lower level.
Consumers can also take steps to ensure that the workers they hire work safely.
“Consumers need to ask questions, such as: Are the installers your employees or subcontractors? Are they insured? What is their past work history? How will the project be managed? What kind of fall protection will be used?” urges Nelson. “Hold your contractors accountable. The last thing a consumer wants is someone falling, especially on their property.”