Fall and Fine Could Have Been Prevented With Proper Safety Plan

 

Fell 10 Feet From Roof
 
New Zealand building company Keith Hay Homes Ltd. has been fined $22,100 after the employee of a contractor was seriously injured after falling almost 10 feet from a roof, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.
 
The Auckland District Court heard that on June 9, 2011 three employees of Metind Limited were working on a single storey Keith Hay residential home in Glen Innes, Auckland.
 
“While reaching down to secure a safe hold on the ridge of the damp roof, one of the employees slipped and fell approximately 10 feet to the ground, fracturing his lower back, several ribs and damaging shoulder tendons and ligaments,” said MBIE Labour, Northern General Manager John Howard.
 
 
Fall Could Have Been Prevented
 
The MBIE Labor investigation into the incident found that it could have been prevented if the defendant had liaised with its contractor to plan a safe approach to working at height at the Glen Innes site and put in place appropriate roof edge protection so that no employee of a contractor was harmed while doing any work the contractor was engaged to do.
 
“Preventing falls from height is a priority for MBIE and we expect everyone with staff or contractors working at height to actively manage this significant hazard,” Howard added.
 
 
Best Practices for Working at Height
 
The Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand provide practical guidance about how prevent harm.
 
To complement the guidelines a series of six fact sheets have also been produced. These focus on:
 
     how to plan a safe approach to working at height
     how to select the right equipment for the job
     short duration work at height
     edge protection
     temporary work platforms
     total restraint system.
 
“All employers, contractors and employees who are required to work at height should read the guidelines and fact sheets so they take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of those working at height. Doing nothing is not an option,” Howard concluded.
 
 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 


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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Too Many Roofers are Falling – New Guidelines Set for Safety

 

New Guidelines to Prevent Falls
 
New guidelines to help prevent workers falling from roofs have been launched in the New Zealand roofing industry.
 
The Best Practice Guidelines for Working on Roofs were prepared by the Department of Labour in association with the Roofing Association of New Zealand to provide practical guidance to employers, contractors, employees, designers, principals and persons who control a place of work and architects who are involved in work associated with roofing.  [Wcx]
 
 
Preventing Falls from Height Project
 
Construction is one of five sectors where specific action plans have been developed to reduce the death and injury toll.  The roofing guidelines have been launched as part of the ‘Preventing Falls from Height’ project which aims to raise awareness about working safely at height and reducing the human and financial toll caused by falls from height,” according to Department of Labour Program Manager Francois Barton.
 
More than half the falls from height reported to the Department are happening from under three meters – and most of these falls are from roofs and ladders. Too many roofers are falling,” Barton continued. “These guidelines are a practical way of helping roofers and others in the construction sector understand what safe working practice at height looks like. Preventing falls while working at height is a top priority for the Department.”
 
 
Targeting 25% Reduction in Serious Injuries & Deaths
 
The Department of Labour has recently set a target of a 25 percent reduction in serious injuries and deaths by 2020 and these guidelines will help regulators, employers, employees and industry associations contribute to meeting that target.
 
Starting in July, the Department of Labour will be commencing targeted enforcement in the construction sector, particularly focusing on residential building sites, to prevent falls from height. [Wcx]
 
The Department is increasing the visibility and intensity of workplace visits in the construction sector and turning up the heat around poor practice. If we see nothing is being done to prevent falls from height in the workplace, we’ll take appropriate enforcement steps. Doing nothing is not an option,” Barton added.

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 

 

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Respirators Keep Roofers Safe and Keep Comp Costs Down

Roofers seldom think of their respiratory health. Having worked closely with roofers for over 20 years, I can say with certainty that most feel that this area of OSHA compliance and heath is not on their “top ten list”.

 
 
I will address this issue from the perspective of a group of roofers I have worked with recently for a large roofing contractor.
 
 
 
I can honestly say that I am always aware of these hazards, but in the interest of overall risk management, there were always just “bigger fish to fry”. Keeping roofers from falling off a roof just seemed more important all along.
 
 
Why Now?
As a whole, roofing
has seen the highest level of improvement in safety of any part of construction. However, we all have areas we need to address. If fall protection is conquered and other critical areas of safety in your trade, but respiratory health has not been addressed, it might be a worthwhile choice. But, why a formal respirator program? The reasons are many and varied. Let us look at a sampling of some critical items.
 
 
1.  Hazards
From the first cut of a saw into concrete, the silica requirement is met. And thanks to a recent addition to the welding standard, any welding will now put us into the hexavalent chromium standard. The very act of burning the welding rods makes for sufficient H/C to put us in the action level of the standard.
 
 
2.  Adhesive hazard
It is quite easy to get into trouble with PEL’s (permissible exposure limit) of these chemicals. The exposure will be higher on low wind days. Often, a false conclusion is made that wind direction or use of local ventilation is sufficient; however, a close read of the MSDS on newer adhesives will show that “respirator protection is recommended for all days, not just windy ones!
 
 
3.  Re-roof hazards
Other hazards face us on “re-roofs”. Hazards, such as mold, bacteria and unknown particles (asbestos, fiberglass) arise when disturbed while removing old covering layers. This is critical, as many roofing situations can create sufficient dust and unknown particles to be of real concern. Total dust and particulates alone can easily become a respiratory hazard. (You may want to scream,” I QUIT!”) Not so fast, though.  A compliant respiratory program can be simple and affordable, with proper thought and implementation.
 
 
Costs
First, who gets selected to be the respirator users? Cost is a considerable factor, here, so it is not advisable to use new employees. Can you say, “increased turnover costs”?
 
The costs are real. First, the employee(s) chosen are sent to a doctor, who performs respiratory testing including spirometry ( Read more about spirometry from Lowerwc.com here). OSHA requires employees be tested to see if their health is sufficient to use a respirator. Working, while breathing through a respirator, is harder than one might think. It is important to choose employees in excellent health preferably non-smokers, when possible.
 

Cost at an occupational medical center should be about $125 for first check and somewhere between $75 and $125 each year thereafter for OSHA required annual follow up. This is another reason why it is important to choose employees looking toward longevity.
 
 
Quality counts
Next, purchase “quality protection”. N-95 dust masks will suffice for exposure other than just that dust mold, and particulates in low levels.  We recommend a quality half-mask respirator, around $90, with interchangeable cartridges ($50 per exposure). This way, one mask can serve welding, adhesives and particulates, by changing the filter cartridge for the task at hand.
 
 
Training
Now the employee will need to be trained and fit-tested for the respirator. Cost?  $125, tops. So, that is around $500-$650 per trained and certified employee per year. This is a pittance compared to even the first medical claim or OSHA violation!

 
The OSHA Inspection
It makes for a compelling risk assessment; even if in your area (large city as opposed to rural costs) you find it on the high side of these estimates. But, make no mistake about it—YES the OSHA inspector will ask even a roofer about compliance with this standard, especially if the roofer is using the concrete saw or adhesives at the time the inspector is on site.
 
 
Summary
Now that the fall protection and other threatening safety “dragons” are slain, it may be time to look at the respiratory health and compliance in your company. [WCx]
 
 
The roofing industry is more aware of risk and compliance  as time passes . Also we are learning that some of our worst fears about compliance were unfounded and can actually make for good business. Stay safe!!
 
 
Brian Hill is owner of OshaSure in Birmingham Alabama and has over 20 years as a workplace safety and risk consultant. Brian was previously a pilot for a major US airline and member of the company’s interdepartmental safety committee. He found his new career in safety after the closing of the airline in 1991. Brian has found the same passion he had for flying in assisting companies with safety, heath and risk issues. Contact Brian by email at:  oshasurebh@aol.com  For more information click on www.oshasure.com  or call 205-296-0601
 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

OSHA Takes Steps to Protect Roofers

OSHA recently announced a new directive that withdraws an earlier one allowing residential builders to bypass fall protection requirements.
 
 
The 1995 policy was initially intended to be temporary. It was the result of concerns about the feasibility of fall protection in residential building construction. (WCxKit)
 
 
However, OSHA says there continues to be a high number of fall-related deaths in construction and believes that feasibility is no longer an issue.
 
 
The recent action requires all residential construction employers to comply with 29 CFR 1926.501(b) (13).
 
 
Construction and roofing companies will have up to 6 months to comply with the new policy.
 
 
OSHA has developed training and compliance material for small employers and will host a webinar for those interested in learning more about compliance.
 
 
Resources are available on the agency Web site at: http://www.osha.gov/doc/residential_fall_protection.html.
 
 
Fatalities from falls are the number one cause of workplace deaths in construction,” said OSHA Chief Dr. David Michaels. “We cannot tolerate workers getting killed in residential construction when effective means are readily available to prevent those deaths,” Michaels added.
 
 
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average of 40 workers are killed each year as a result of falls from residential roofs. (WCxKit)
 
 
OSHA points out that a third of those are Latino workers who often lack sufficient access to safety information and protections.


Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information.  Contact:  Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.
 
WORK COMP CALCULATOR:   http://www.LowerWC.com/calculator.php
 
WC GROUP:  http://www.linkedin.com/groups?homeNewMember=&gid=1922050/
SUBSCRIBE: 
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WC IQ TEST:  http://www.workerscompkit.com/intro/

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact
Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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