Roofing Law

Ladder Safety and the Types of Personal Fall Arrest Systems

As a roofing contractor, safety must always be your top priority. Take advantage of the fall-related safety equipment available to you. A personal fall arrest system is a course of action to protect all workers exposed to vertical drops of six feet or more. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety guidelines for ladders and personal fall arrest systems to employ at specific altitudes. To run through your available types of personal fall arrest systems and ladder safety, we have provided you with some information below.

There Are a Lot of Options. Which Ones Pertain to Ladders?

Select fall protection measures and equipment compatible with the type of roofing work being performed. Fall protection is required for fixed ladders but not portable ladders. These fall protection systems often consist of lanyards, harnesses, and anchorage devices. These devices may not prevent the fall, but they will reduce the chance of injury or death in the case of a fall.

Body Harness and Attachment Location: Body harnesses are designed to minimize stress forces on an employee’s body in the event of a fall while providing sufficient freedom of movement to allow work to be performed. Do not use body harnesses to hoist materials.

Vertical Lifeline/Lanyards: Vertical lifelines, “lanyards,” must have a minimum breaking strength of 5,000 pounds. Each employee must be attached to a separate vertical lifeline.

Anchorages: Anchorages must be used to attach an employee to personal fall arrest equipment. It is capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds per employee.

Inspect Your Ladder. Inspect Your System. Inspect Your Area.

Before using a ladder, inspect it. Ladders are subject to deterioration and age. Inspect your ladder before utilizing it to make sure that there are no missing parts, loose connections or other defects. Read and follow all the warning labels on the ladder, and never use a ladder that is damaged. Inspect your personal fall arrest systems before use for wear or damage. Remove defective elements from being used. Inspect your area and be careful around power lines. Do not use a metal ladder because there are cases where electricity can jump to a metal object several feet away.

Materials Contribute to Weight Limits

Do not carry too much weight when climbing up ladders. Do not exceed the ladder and the personal fall arrest protections’ maximum weight. Store material close to the roof in order to save time and energy when retrieving materials.

If you would like to speak with one of our roofing lawyers about OSHA ladder requirements, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.