OSHA Safety Resources for Roofing Contractors

Over the years safety for roofing technicians has increased dramatically. That being said, I have seen more than one person fall off a ladder or through a roof in my 25+ years in the business. No matter how many times we've been up and down the ladder safety should always been first in mind. OSHA has published two beneficial safety guides for the roofing industry, Roofing Industry Fall Protection From A to Z with the NRCA and OSHA 3755 Protecting Roofing Workers. It is a great idea for anyone associated with the roofing industry be familiar with OSHA guidelines and the recommendations in these manuals. Here are the guidelines on extension ladders:

Extension Ladders
Employers must ensure that non-self supporting ladders are set at an angle so the
horizontal distance between the top support
and the foot of the ladder is approximately
one-quarter the working length of the ladder
(a 1:4 ratio) (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(5)(i). (The working length of the ladder is the distance along the ladder between the foot and the top support.) The side rails of the ladder generally must extend at least 3 feet above the upper landing surface that the worker is trying to access (29 CFR 1926.1053(b)(1)). When such an extension is not possible because of the ladder’s length, the ladder must be secured at its top to a rigid support that will not deflect and a grasping device, such as a grabrail, must be provided to assist workers in mounting and dismounting the ladder.- OSHA 3755 p.19

 In addition to ladder safety, OSHA requires a safety line system be used on roofs over 50 feet in width along with a safety monitoring system. Workers must be educated on proper safety procedure and the safety monitor must not have any other duties that interfere with watching for safety concerns. This can seem like a burden to small business owners. However, we believe the safety of our most valuable resource, our roofing technicians, is worth the extra time and education.


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