Archive for September, 2017

Don’t Cut Corners on Safe Rooftop Material Loading

September 22, 2017

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.

 

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

September 18, 2017

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

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

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.


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