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Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 10:30 AM

I have decided to start an argument I know I am going to loose.

I need to replace some ridge vent flashing on a low-sloped roof (1:12), which measures approximately 300' x 400'. This flashing is only along the center-line of the roof. As I have said, it is Ridge Vent flashing, no edge work will be required (except for at one end of the ridge line). The center ridge is approximately 400' long and I will be replacing about 380' of flashing.

I have looked up the OSHA standard for, "Fall protection requirements for construction workers doing work while on a roof." 1926.501~1926.502.

According to what I have been able to find, I need to install a "warning line" 15' from the edge of the roof and have a designated employee act as a "fall monitor." No one is to go beyond the warning line without 100% tie-off.

The majority of this project will occur well away from the warning line, so I'm thinking we should be well within spec.

My Safety Department is telling me that each guy on the roof must be in full harness and have a retractable fall-arrest system tied to a hard point that can support 5000 lb for each guy tied to it.

Just off the top of my head, this type of structural support would require a total redesign of the entire building. Help me out here guys.

What is the preferred industry standard for the above describe scenario?

Please help.

-A-

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#1

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 11:30 AM

My understanding is that you need either the "warning line and fall monitor" system or a full harness for each individual not both.

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#2

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 1:08 PM

what about attaching the fall arrest to a crane with it jib just over the top of the roof.

you now have a fall arrest system indipendent of the building.

And Tell them not to fall or they will be dismissed

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#9
In reply to #2

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

05/04/2010 3:27 PM

5 Guys require 5000lb each for fall protection. That's 25,000lb @ 150' from the edge of the building. Throw in a safety factor and your looking at a big !@#$% crane. I'm talking about replacing roof flashing. Small job. Five guys.

-A-

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#3

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 1:25 PM

Don't know if this would meet your safety department criteria at a hard point. While working on roofs we run a good climbing rope across the peak. Anchoring both ends to the ground. Tied our safety lines into it. We use climbing gear. Not a retractable fall arrest system. Set our lines on to the anchor rope so that if you did slip it would never go over the edge. The safety line was connected to the anchor rope with a attachment that could slide on the anchor rope and lock into place. Allows you to work both sides of the roof. Enough slack on the anchor rope that it would not allow it to fall off at the peaks at both ends. This allows movement across the width of the roof. Each man has his own anchor rope. Our safety person stays on the ground to checks the anchors.

This is done for personal work. When a friend needs his roof re-shingled we get together and do it. One friend is a tree expert spends his days depending on the same equipment.

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#4

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 2:23 PM

Thanks guys.

I just fired off an e-mail to the head of our Safety department.

We'll see what happens.

-A-

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 2:42 PM

I already looked it up before I went to the end of the thread...

From OSHA 1926.501(b)(11):

"Roofing work on Low-slope roofs." Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, each employee engaged in roofing activities on low-slope roofs, with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above lower levels shall be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, personal fall arrest systems, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system. Or, on roofs 50-feet (15.25 m) or less in width (see Appendix A to subpart M of this part), the use of a safety monitoring system alone [i.e. without the warning line system] is permitted."

If this is the subsection in effect, it does appear warning lines and ground monitor is allowable without a fall arrest.

Your own safety department will most certainly be the last word... unless you feel that more stringent precautions than are dictated as minimum are in order.

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#6

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 3:11 PM

You are absolutely right...you're going to lose this argument.

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#7

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

04/30/2010 4:29 PM

How high is that roof above the ground? And what is the cover? And the underground? Is it structurally safe? A 1:12 is not that steep to work on. Please elaborate.

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#8

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

05/01/2010 10:51 AM

The argument is lost from the start. No one wins a bet with the safety department especially if your company is of any size at all.

The usual input from the safety department is their requirements are above the usual requirements, so live with it. it is sort of like trying to kill a sacred cow. If you do anything at all it will be ten times as safe as the conditions that normal roofing contractors enforce.

Sounds like you need to tear that roof off and put something substantial in it's place. Of course for that project you had better check with the safety department they have got new and better rules for that situation.

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#10

Re: Fall Protection Requirements

05/04/2010 3:29 PM

Thanks guys. I managed a verbal approval of my plan. Now I have to try and get it in writing.

Thanks again for the input.

-A-

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