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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My dad was telling me last night - who is an old school roofer - about his trouble adjusting to the new roof safety legislations.

He has worked for over 20 years in construction using homemade welded roof brackets, wearing work boots, a tool belt and rarely a safety hat. That's it.

He has recently come into trouble with the "safety police" with warnings to wear compliant safety gear. He vouches that it slows him down and becomes more of a hazard.

Do you guys/gals have any tips for getting used to using safety equipment? How do you know what the law is and what isn't when being approached by safety parol?
 

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Roofing Expert
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My dad was telling me last night - who is an old school roofer - about his trouble adjusting to the new roof safety legislations.

He has worked for over 20 years in construction using homemade welded roof brackets, wearing work boots, a tool belt and rarely a safety hat. That's it.

He has recently come into trouble with the "safety police" with warnings to wear compliant safety gear. He vouches that it slows him down and becomes more of a hazard.

Do you guys/gals have any tips for getting used to using safety equipment? How do you know what the law is and what isn't when being approached by safety parol?

There used to be a sign on a site i worked on,No Hat,No Boots No Hi Vis jacket .....No WORK !
 

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StartARoofingBusiness
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It has been a tough change for all of us!

6 Rope laying all over the roof, while you are trying to install.

It's Dangerous...

My dad was telling me last night - who is an old school roofer - about his trouble adjusting to the new roof safety legislations.

He has worked for over 20 years in construction using homemade welded roof brackets, wearing work boots, a tool belt and rarely a safety hat. That's it.

He has recently come into trouble with the "safety police" with warnings to wear compliant safety gear. He vouches that it slows him down and becomes more of a hazard.

Do you guys/gals have any tips for getting used to using safety equipment? How do you know what the law is and what isn't when being approached by safety parol?
 

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Pitched Roofer
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Safety is 95% common sense,if your in the 5% bracket,..what the hell are ya on the roof for??..who the hell makes these stupid rules anyways? I've been roofin 30yrs now and i know how your dad feels, IT SUCKS!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roofing Safety Resource

Contractors that have been in the roofing trade for many years could do this in their sleep. They get into a rountine process and anything new can totally throw them off.

I think whether it's safety gear or another worker - it takes times to get used to the new object. The solution seems to slow down.

But another thing with these safety rules, how do you know what IS the law and what ISN'T. Where do you get your resources or training?
 

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Safety Guy
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Construction safety consultant

I have been a construction safety consultant for many years. OSHA has been around since 1971. There is no excuse for not knowing the safety regulations as it applies to roofers. Look in 29 CFR 1926.500. That is Subpart M -- Fall Protection. Go to OSHA.gov and look up the regulation.

Old school roofers, if they have not been already seriously injured or killed in a fall, are living on borrowed time. The more chances they take by not using fall protection equipment on a roof, the more likely they are to fall and be seriously injured or killed.

Falls in construction account for about 1/3 of all fatalities in construction work every year. Roofers and iron workers are the two trades that account for the majority of fatalities due to falls.

Safety is both a habit and a state of mind. You either work safely or you work unsafely. If you compromise your personal safety during roofing work, then you are letting down those that love and depend on you.
 

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Pitched Roofer
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Old school roofers, if they have not been already seriously injured or killed in a fall, are living on borrowed time. The more chances they take by not using fall protection equipment on a roof, the more likely they are to fall and be seriously injured or killed.
Nice talk...just curious, you ever been a roofer? I mean who makes these rules? a Roofer or a desk jockey??..and another thing every time i here someone getting hurt its usually the green horn..not the old skool roofer..
 

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Safety Guy
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Construction safety consultant

Nice talk...just curious, you ever been a roofer? I mean who makes these rules? a Roofer or a desk jockey??..and another thing every time i here someone getting hurt its usually the green horn..not the old skool roofer..
No, I have never been a roofer. I am on construction sites every day trying to persuade construction workers to work safely. You don't have to be a roofer to know what is safe and what is not safe.

In the United States, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) makes the rules in collaboration with industry trade associations, labor unions, safety professionals, and other interested parties. For example, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) works closely with OSHA.

It is not true that green horns are the ones getting hurt. One fatalitiy that I investigated was a 29 year old roofing foreman who had 10 years of experience. He became complacent about his need for fall protection and fell 32 feet to his death. He left behind a young wife and child. His fall protection harness was in the job box on the roof. He never put it on which was a violation of a company rule and an OSHA regulation.

It's very simple. If you take enough chances with your personal safety, then you are probably going to be seriously injured or killed.
 

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Safety Guy
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Construction safety consultant

Around here its different rules, depends which safety guy shows up...:unsure:
When I am trying to educate construction workers on safety, I tell them "Safety is what you do when no one is looking". If you take safety seriously, then you are going to do your work safely whether there are rules or not. Safety is an attitude and a state of mind.

Many people have the attitude that they are going to live forever. However, the longer you live, the more you become aware of your own mortality. If you have a family and loved ones that depend on you, then you owe to them to get home at the end of the day in one piece.
 

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Pitched Roofer
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No, I have never been a roofer. I am on construction sites every day trying to persuade construction workers to work safely. You don't have to be a roofer to know what is safe and what is not safe.

In the United States, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) makes the rules in collaboration with industry trade associations, labor unions, safety professionals, and other interested parties. For example, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) works closely with OSHA.

It is not true that green horns are the ones getting hurt. One fatalitiy that I investigated was a 29 year old roofing foreman who had 10 years of experience. He became complacent about his need for fall protection and fell 32 feet to his death. He left behind a young wife and child. His fall protection harness was in the job box on the roof. He never put it on which was a violation of a company rule and an OSHA regulation.

It's very simple. If you take enough chances with your personal safety, then you are probably going to be seriously injured or killed.
Tell me this, have any of these guys done a tearoff of cedar with a rope on? try it, then tell me how safe it is. I have seen more guys unsafe with all the ropes on the roof and hoses,NRCA works with OSHA? is that the roofers who are still roofing or the office dept. of NRCA?
 

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Pitched Roofer
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When I am trying to educate construction workers on safety, I tell them "Safety is what you do when no one is looking". If you take safety seriously, then you are going to do your work safely whether there are rules or not. Safety is an attitude and a state of mind.
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I believe this is what i first said, 95% common sense, if your in the 5% bracket "get the hell off the roof!"
 

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Safety Guy
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Tell me this, have any of these guys done a tearoff of cedar with a rope on? try it, then tell me how safe it is. I have seen more guys unsafe with all the ropes on the roof and hoses,NRCA works with OSHA? is that the roofers who are still roofing or the office dept. of NRCA?
I have no idea if "any of these guys have done a tearoff" or not. Maybe yes, maybe no.

Let me ask you which is safer. Doing a roof tearoff with ropes and hoses on the roof or falling to the ground because you have zero fall protection? I have been on different job sites (and roofs) when roofing crews were doing tearoofs with fall protection and tearoffs without fall protection.

One slip or trip and you're gone! I don't care how long you have been working on roofs without fall protection. It is just a matter of time before you become a statistic. That's reality and the only way to prevent that is to properly use fall protection equipment. Many roofers have never been properly trained to use fall protection equipment in the first place!

Years ago, NRCA worked with OSHA to develop comprehensive safety programs for the roofing industry. NRCA developed what works for roofers in the field with roofing professionals. If a roofing company uses the NRCA safety manual as a template for their in-house safety program, then that company will significantly reduce their injury rate and have zero fatalities due to falls. But that only works if both the owners AND the employees are committed to safety. I've seen it work, so don't tell me it doesn't.

No, I am not a member of or a shill for NRCA. I know what type of safety progam works as a construction safety consultant.
 

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Roofing Expert
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I still cant believe you guys work mainly with out scaffolding! its madness, having a safe working platform has to make the job both safer and quicker.
don't get me wrong i still do repairs with a ladder and a cat ladder(chicken) but i wont do what you guys call a tear off with out scaffolding.
regards
Dave
 

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Pitched Roofer
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Let me ask you which is safer. Doing a roof tearoff with ropes and hoses on the roof or falling to the ground because you have zero fall protection? I have been on different job sites (and roofs) when roofing crews were doing tearoofs with fall protection and tearoffs without fall protection.
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Its when the ropes are on the roof is when i see guys tripping over them,when there not there, guess what? no ones tripping..hence no one falling,as i said before its fricken just plain common sense...:yes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No, I have never been a roofer. I am on construction sites every day trying to persuade construction workers to work safely. You don't have to be a roofer to know what is safe and what is not safe.

In the United States, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) makes the rules in collaboration with industry trade associations, labor unions, safety professionals, and other interested parties. For example, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) works closely with OSHA.

It is not true that green horns are the ones getting hurt. One fatalitiy that I investigated was a 29 year old roofing foreman who had 10 years of experience. He became complacent about his need for fall protection and fell 32 feet to his death. He left behind a young wife and child. His fall protection harness was in the job box on the roof. He never put it on which was a violation of a company rule and an OSHA regulation.

It's very simple. If you take enough chances with your personal safety, then you are probably going to be seriously injured or killed.
Thank you for getting involved in the discussion. Your experience puts a different perspective of the purpose of roofing safety regulations. It's not all about giving out fines - it's about preventing accidents like this.

Fall protection laws is like the law to wear your seat belt. Before it was a note to wear at your caution. When the law was first implemented, it was easy to forget to buckle up. Now it is second nature. Once you break the rules once and get away with it, it is easier to do it the next time and develop a habit. There are more pros to developing the positive habits.
 

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Safety Guy
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Its when the ropes are on the roof is when i see guys tripping over them,when there not there, guess what? no ones tripping..hence no one falling,as i said before its fricken just plain common sense...:yes:
You just don't get it. It does not matter what type of construction work you do. No job, including roofing, is worth risking your life.

Common sense, as I see it, is uncommon on construction sites! Otherwise, construction workers would take more care to work safely. The sad fact is the majority of construction workers do not work safely.

In fact, I was on a construction site yesterday. I found six things wrong with some stucco scaffolding that made the scaffolding unsafe to use. Instead of taking responsibility for the unsafe scaffolding, the foreman tried to give me excuses for why the scaffolding was unsafe. He had tagged the scaffolding safe to use when it was not. The scaffolding was taken out of service until the safety deficiencies were corrected.

It is this type of attitude that permeates the construction industry. That also includes roofers.
 

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Safety Guy
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Hello All,

Have you ever been hit with an OSHA Fine?
We have a client in central Florida that was hit with a $49,000 OSHA fine for not using fall protection on a roof in September.

We negotiatiated with OSHA to reduce the fine to $21,000. We are also training all the employees how to properly use fall protection equipment. That was the problem. The employees on the roof were wearing harnesses, but they were not secured to an anchorage. The OSHA inspector had photos of that.

A very expensive mistake by the contractor for not following OSHA regulations. Had we not negotiated the fine lower, the contractor might well have gone out of business.
 

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Safety Guy
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Thank you for getting involved in the discussion. Your experience puts a different perspective of the purpose of roofing safety regulations. It's not all about giving out fines - it's about preventing accidents like this.

Fall protection laws is like the law to wear your seat belt. Before it was a note to wear at your caution. When the law was first implemented, it was easy to forget to buckle up. Now it is second nature. Once you break the rules once and get away with it, it is easier to do it the next time and develop a habit. There are more pros to developing the positive habits.
That is correct. Developing positive habits means changing the safety culture within any given organization. The construction industry as a whole needs to change the way it approaches construction safety. The larger contractors are already there in terms of including safety during every phase of construction.

But the real need is among small contractors. OSHA does not have the resources to reach out to every small contractor to help them and probably never will.

I know some small contractor owners who are totally committed to construction safety, but they are outnumbered by those who are not.
 
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