Are you servicing your safety equipment?

November 10, 2017 by

Recently we assisted a contractor that had a large development job with Camp Pendleton in San Diego. Because the work being conducted was on the military base, certain governmental procedures had to be observed while performing the work, especially pertaining to safety. Our extensive background and knowledge in safety products saw the contractor use the team at Roofmaster as a trusted source to remain compliant for the extent of its military work.

30′ HALO Self Retracting Lifeline

One of the most difficult OSHA restrictions on the contractor was the need to provide safety equipment that allowed the crew to operate efficiently while limiting the distance the crew could fall. In accordance with OSHA regulations, we recommended a combination of anchors, harnesses, and Guardian’s Halo self-retractable lifeline (SRL.) In addition to the initial sale of the safety equipment, the team at Roofmaster provided service to this contractor by repairing its SRLs. With most SRLs ranging from $500 to $1500 per unit, repair quickly became a more practical option instead of replacing units. For a fraction of the cost of a new unit, we inspected and re-certified the contractor’s SRLs. Roofmaster’s re-certification process for self-retractable lifelines includes the following:

  • Check and reset tension on the line as per manufacturer’s specifications
  • Check all hardware components for wear (e.g., shackles, eye bolts, turn buckles)
  • Check fixing elements (finger grips) for signs of wear
  • Lubricate all moving parts (e.g., turnbuckles and shackles)
  • Repair and/or replace any damaged or worn parts to manufacturer’ specifications
  • Re-certify all self-retracting lifelines and provide 2-year re-certification certificate for OSHA documentation

 

Over the past decade OSHA has been cracking down on rooftop safety. OSHA 1926 requires each contractor to employ at least one competent person, defined as, “one who is capable of identifying existing and predictable hazards in the surroundings or working conditions which are unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous to employees, and who has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.” There are two key components to this regulation:

  1. Inspection by the user is required prior to use of any fall protection equipment. Best practice states that visual inspection of equipment should include wear and tear, malfunction, or damage before and after use of any safety, fall arrest, or fall restraint equipment.
  2. A competent person must inspect fall protection equipment every month.

In addition to visual inspections, re-certification of safety equipment is required every two years, when a unit undergoes repair, or when a unit is deployed in a fall arrest or fall restraint event.

We have seen that rooftop safety is an area upon which OSHA has increasingly focused. Roofmaster’s service and re-certification of SRLs can keep rooftop crews OSHA compliant and at a fraction of the cost of a new unit. Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn how our industry leading sales and service can help with all of your rooftop safety needs.

Railguard to create a landing zone

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The importance of training on new equipment

October 27, 2017 by

My job as a salesperson does not end after I receive a PO. Training and customer service are a large part of the service that I offer my customers. According to this NRCA article, roofing contractors are investing in more technology to help improve equipment safety. Technology alone is not the answer; technology combined with employee training is a step in the right direction. A couple of weeks ago, I sold a Graco 833 sprayer to a commercial roofer. My customer asked if I could give an overview and train his crew since they had never used one before. Without hesitation, I immediately said yes. The primary reason was the safety concerns I had.

GH833 Graco Spray Rig

On the day of the training the crew was halfheartedly interested. I started off with an overview of the unit’s specs, 4000psi, 4gpm, able to spay a variety of materials, etc. One of the key points I stressed was that 4000 psi could cut through the skin. Or even worse, if the spray found its way into a main artery, it could find its way to the heart and kill someone. Now I had their attention.

The Graco 833 has certain specifications for safety purposes, but those specs only go so far. Based on my experiences, I went on to recommend that the customer have a “buddy system” when they assemble the sprayer; one person to oversee the other and confirm proper set up. The key components of job safety when using the Graco 833 sprayer include making sure that the hose and gun meet the psi rating of the sprayer and all connections are tight.

The importance of this buddy system is to cross train within the crew and to have a certain amount of redundancy built in. Some years back I had a customer that had a wide variety of spray materials, both high and low pressure. The crews would come in to our Hayward location to get hoses and guns on occasion. I would always try ask what they were spraying in order to fit them with the right parts and equipment. Nine times out of ten, either because of a language barrier or just not knowing, the crews couldn’t tell me for sure what it was.

Through the process of elimination, I would do my best to get them back to work. Without physically seeing the equipment, this wasn’t enough. Because the crews were so untrained, disaster finally happened. One day they put a low pressure hose and gun on a high pressure sprayer. The low pressure gun burst under pressure and sent the operator to the hospital.

I cannot stress enough the importance of in-depth and routine training when it comes to spray equipment. The key is having as many of the crew members familiar with proper setup and maintenance of the equipment.

Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn how our industry leading sales and service can help with all of your spraying needs..

Don’t Cut Corners on Safe Rooftop Material Loading

September 22, 2017 by

Roofing contractors are being challenged on a daily basis. I notice firsthand that contractors are trying to be more competitive by trimming production times, managing quality control, and adhering to strict safety requirements. This effort to complete a job quickly while maintaining a safe job site at times can be overwhelming and conflicting to a contractor.

These competing forces can be extremely dangerous when not carefully monitored. An example of this is when roofing materials cannot be staged on the roof and instead are delivered to the ground. This presents the contractor with the dilemma of how to deliver the material to the rooftop. Few OSHA agencies permit contractors to carry roofing materials while climbing a ladder (see this OSHA ladder safety article for guidelines.) The American Ladder Institute (ALI) recommends utilizing the “Three Point-of-Contact” method when climbing a ladder, keeping hands free and focused on climbing.

With these regulations and recommendations in mind, as well as the weight of the load, roofers are left with the following options:

  1. Rent/own a crane
  2. Rent/own a telescopic forklift
  3. Purchase a non-powered hoist (e.g., Roofmaster hoisting wheels, Laddermasters, or hand powered hoists)
  4. Purchase a powered hoist (e.g., Reimann & Georger hoists)

300lb 14′ Non-Swing Hand Hoist w/Ballast Tray

Options 3 and 4 are the cheapest and the most popular within the roofing industry and an area where Roofmaster can provide expert advice and service. Most non-powered hoisting equipment have a load limit of 150 pounds, whereas some powered equipment have a max load of 400 pounds. Roofmaster has manufactured OSHA compliant non-powered hoisting equipment since 1972. In addition, Roofmaster has been a preferred distributor of Reimann & Georger (now RGC) powered hoisting equipment since the 1950s.

 

One of the most popular and efficient powered hoists is the PRO Platform Hoist with a Honda motor. This product can easily be transported in a pickup and set up on site with 2 people. The PRO400 can lift loads up to 400# as low as 12 ft (28 ft unit), or as high as 40 ft. (44 ft unit). These units can be used indoors (electrical motor version) in warehouses, construction sites, etc., where cranes, forklifts, or other lifting equipment make not be possible, and outdoors (gas engines), to lift materials or equipment to higher elevations.

Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn more about how our lineup of hoisting equipment can help increase job site safety.

 

Proper use of your “Rattle Can” aka Aerosol Spray Paints

September 18, 2017 by

Growing up in Texas everyone knew aerosol spray paints by the nickname of “Rattle Cans.”   That’s because the directions told you to shake the can up to mix the ingredients (pigments, solids, solvents) before spraying.  Inside each can is a plastic ball the helps to mix the ingredients together before spraying that makes a noise when it bounces off the inside of the can like a baby rattle, or toy.

Below are two “Tips” for extending the life of your spray paint can.

First, if you don’t shake the can well enough, the paint may come out in a stream instead of the normal aerosol spray, making it difficult or impossible to spray on your target or object.  This is especially true in cold weather.  Many roofers in the winter months keep their paint inside the truck, or put it on a warm truck hood to bring the temperature up to a normal spray range of around 70 degrees.

Here is the second “Tip” to extend the life of your spray paint can: after you’ve finished your job and still have paint in your can, turn the can upside down and spray the paint out until the spray runs clear.  This is the solvent that cleans the line and tip from paint and prevents the tip or line from clogging with dried paint.

I’ve had paint that I put on the shelf in the garage that is still reusable after 6 or 7 years.

by: Chris Cook Independent Rep for W.R. Cook & Associates, Southwest

Get Your Money’s Worth with Fall Protection

September 15, 2017 by

I spend a lot of time on the road meeting with contractors onsite, either delivering goods or following up to make sure they are satisfied with their products. When I drive by a job site, I always look at the workers on the roof to see if they are wearing proper fall protection gear. Too many times I notice five or six workers wearing their harnesses, ropes, and lanyards…that are not actually tied off to anything.

OSHA’s regulations are only getting stricter regarding fall protection. Some employers see fall protection as wasted money. In my mind, fall protection is like insurance — better to have too much and be safe than sorry. The cost of harnesses, ropes, lanyards, anchors, etc. are a fraction of the potential costs from insurance claims and OSHA penalties, let alone the emotional and financial impact of a life altering injury. How many accidents, injuries, or fatalities could have been prevented with proper training for and monitoring of fall protection equipment?

50′ Fall Arrest Kit

In today’s age, safety equipment in the construction industry is constantly improving and more readily available, yet it is widely unused or misused. Everything from your walk through ladder extensions, guardrail systems, anchor systems, and fall protection kits. But fall protection is not just limited to the equipment; a solid process should be put in place in order to minimize the risk of falls on the job (OSHA has a sample fall protection plan here and great videos here.) Most fall protection set ups take a fraction of the job time to properly put together or install, yet so many are left unfinished to merely make an appearance of safety.

What does it take to get employers out inspecting their crews and safety regulations to ensure the lives of those they employ are safe? To make sure the money spent on fall protection equipment is being used properly and efficiently? A wise person once told me, “Do things right the first time…we don’t always get a second chance.”

Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn more about how our lineup of fall protection equipment can help increase job site safety.

Snips; Not Just for One Hand or the Other

September 1, 2017 by

Snips are an essential tool for the roofing industry. Whether the snips are used for vinyl or metal siding, metal flashing, asphalt shingles, or gutters, these tools can be found on just about every roof deck. Last week I was speaking with a buyer about the lineup of Midwest snips that Roofmaster carries. While discussing our various Midwest products I asked the buyer why they purchased mostly offset right snips and few offset left snips. The buyer’s response was something that I took for granted and learned long ago; he stated, “I only buy offset right snips because most of my customers are right handed, not left handed.”

As a former contractor I learned this lesson the hard way. Offset snips are not just determined by what hand the roofer uses for cutting. There are three primary functions for offset snips:

  1. The cutters being below the handle to keep the cutting hand above the work
  2. The direction of the cut
  3. A clean miter is impossible without left and right cuts

Midwest offers three directions in their snips: left, straight, and right. The right snips cut in a clockwise direction and the left snips cut in a counter clockwise direction. Each snip can do one direction well, but not the other. Using a straight snip to cut a hole is possible, but the resulting hole will likely have ragged edges. Again, this is something that I learned early in the construction industry, but definitely something I took for granted.

Midwest Straight Offset Cut

Midwest Left Offset Cut

Midwest Right Offset Cut

Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn more about how our lineup of hand tools can help ensure a quality job every time.

Are you sure you closed your job site properly?

August 24, 2017 by

A story is floating around about a contractor who was performing a torch down job on a commercial roof.  The foreman and his crew were closing the site as they had completed their work for the day.  The foreman performed a visual and touch check on the deck to make sure it was cool and not a fire risk.

Later that night they received a frantic call from the building owner; the building was engulfed in flames.  The fire department was unable to save the building and it was a total loss.  As a result, the contractor’s license was cancelled and a huge insurance claim was paid.

One thought popped into my head; did the foreman walk the whole roof?  Maybe the foreman only checked the immediate areas where the torches were being used.  More and more OSHA is tightening the clamps on these types of jobs.  Earlier this year Roofing Magazine ran an excellent article on roof fires resulting from torch downs.  Some key takeaways include:

  • A fire extinguisher must be immediately accessible for all torch-down work
  • A fire extinguisher is needed within 50 feet of anywhere where more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used on the job site
  • No one on a job site can be more than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher at all times
  • There must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 square feet of work area
  • A fire watch person should be posted to immediately address any possible smolders or flare-ups
  • The fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day

Per the NRCA torch program and OSHA requirements for working with torches, at a minimum roofers should have proper 4A60BC Fire Extinguishers in case of flare ups and an Infrared Thermometer to scan the deck for hot spots that are undetectable to the human eye.  Pricing for infrared thermometers have drastically decreased over the past couple of years, while features have increased.

TEMPRA Infrared Thermometer with Spotlight

Our infrared thermometers have the added benefit of a laser pointer to help pinpoint the hotspots on a deck as well as a spotlight for off hour jobs.

Speak with a Roofmaster salesperson today to learn more about fire safety and prevention

Don’t Miss the Davis Memorial Foundation Silent Auction

June 8, 2017 by

Roofmaster has donated $600 worth of Dodgers Tickets!

This event has become the “ONE NOT TO MISS!” Fun, great food, hosted bars, camaraderie and lots of great auction items…everyone walks away with a smile. There will be travel trips, jewelry, golf items, electronics, and sports memorabilia to bid on. This event kicks off the Western Roofing Expo and provides a great fundraising event for the Davis Memorial Foundation’s scholarship awards. FREE to all attendees!

Sunday June 11, 2017 5:00-7:00pm
Paris Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV

 

Western Roofing Expo

June 7, 2017 by

Come see Roofmaster Products at the 2017 Western Roofing Expo in Booth 203!  Exhibits will be June 12-13 at the Paris Hotel & Casino Convention Center.

Check out the broad range of Leister products we carry, such as the Varimat V2, the UniRoof AT 120V, and the Triac-ST handgun.  We’ll also have our Power Broom and the industry’s #1 selling Aluminum Feltlayer!

Keep Spreading the Love

May 1, 2017 by

We’ve continued our contest on to the end of June!

RoofmasterFP-8-5x11-100-contest 630

Mention Roofmaster Products on Facebook or email to paint @ roofmaster.com to enter for a chance to win one of five $100 Visa Gift cards!

 


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