Posts Tagged ‘safety’

Are you servicing your safety equipment?

November 10, 2017

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

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

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.

 

Keep Your Roof Hatch Openings Safe!

December 9, 2011

Any opening in a roof deck like a roof hatch is a hazard to employees or contractors if left open. Proper protocol is to close the hatch after going up through it, but most times this is not done leaving a dangerous hazard for someone to fall through it. This is in violation of OSHA’s standard 29 CFR 1910.23 and 27 that requires compliance for safe ingress and egress through hatch openings in the roof.

An accessory item is now available to place a safety fence, or rail, around the hatch to prevent accidental falling through the opening. This Safety Guard Rail is clamped around the roof hatch thus eliminating any need for screws or bolts. This also protects the roof deck since nothing is mounted on the roof; it’s mounted on the hatch body itself. A chain is secured across the opening to the roof hatch opening on the safety rail. This system can be easily installed at the time the hatch is installed or years afterwards.

Construction is 1-5/8” OD tubular galvanized steel with an exterior grade powder-coat giving many years of rust-free service. Each safety system is size specific to the roof hatch size. Most typical sizes will fit roof hatch sizes like a 2’6″ x 2’6”, 2’6” x 3’0”, or 3’0″ x 3’0”. Other sizes also are available.


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