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Post Info TOPIC: Fall protection compliance


Approved Exterior Cleaner

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Fall protection compliance
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iI do work for Costco and have a few other commercial customers. I plan on working in that direction more this season. I just received a fairly detailed "fall protection addendum" they want filled out ASAP. Anyone have a good source I might go to for details on requirements, and/or simple compliance options. Most of what I found seems to deal with residential work. 



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Approved Exterior Cleaner

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Is OSHA what you're looking for?

Jeff

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Raystown Pressure Washing

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Eric I kinda been through this with Costco. I told them if I were to comply with their safety standards they were going to have to supply the hardware and labor to assemble it. Or get a quote from an third party to supply whatever safety requirements.

We were called out to clean a roof post construction. They wanted a perimeter barrier that can be tied off to. Setting up the safety ring would cost more than the cleaning job. We never got the job anyway. It gave me real headache trying to comply with what they were looking for.

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Thompson Roof Cleaning and Power Washing LLC

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Yes it's OSHA requirements they want satisfied. I have already completed two contracts so I'm in the door already. The manager called and said they need us to fix leaks ASAP. Then she sent the addendum. I have not responded yet. I'm sure it is a company wide requirement, there are probably other organizations etc that will have the same requirements in the future that I will want to be in a position to provide services to.

It's obviously silly when you consider that the roof is flat, larger than 3 football fields and has a parapet. My thought is that, someone is going to provide these services. Most will not be compliant. If I am, that could put me in a pretty good position with other similar businesses and more than just one Costco. So far, they have never questioned my prices or even gotten other bids. They want to do a large project this summer and the cost was never even asked about. To me that's worth jumping through some hoops (even goofy ones)

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Approved Exterior Cleaner

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Forget the perimeter fence, isn't there a dummy weight that you can move around that you can tie off too? When I think safety Bill Booze comes to mind, maybe give him a shout.

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Little off topic,..but,..what part of the building are you cleaning,..and what's on it that needs removed?

Jeff

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Raystown Pressure Washing

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Yeah I was thinking the same thing Zach. I will contact Bill. A dummy weight is definitely not one of the options given.

What I have to do immediately is just leak repairs Jeff. It's in the middle areas of the roof. At least 100' ft from the perimeter, which makes the need for fall protection ridiculous. So far in what I have found, OSHA does not address that. I did some substantial perimeter repairs on 80% of the perimeter in early December and there was no request for the fall protection plan.

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Is it a standing seam roof?

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Eric Seitz

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Oh, ok,..I thought you was cleaning something.

Jeff

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Raystown Pressure Washing

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Yes, standing seam with 180 large skylights and countless solar panels. We cleanened it already. I did a fairly comprehensive inspection and report to try to open some doors. It worked, Now it seems we are the go to provider for roof needs. They did mention that a Costco employee fell through a roof and so recently no Costco employees are allowed on the roof, not even management. After I provided proper proof of insurance, vendor info etc. they had me go up alone and then explain to them what they needed based on photos and my report. Lower level management approved it with no questions. Wish all jobs were like that.

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Sounds great Eric, do it the way they want and you will never look back! Good Luck!


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OSHA regs are very ambiguous. It's funny that they want you tied off on a roof but nothing about what to do to get that set up in the first place or how long you can be up there setting it up. I think they did it that way so they can fine you if they feel like it. It's why in situations where the roof has to be accesses I do it since OSHA has no authority over me as the business owner.

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Tony Evans

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I didn't know Osha Couldnt hit you up for safty violations on yourself as the owner?

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I bought two of these



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Eric Seitz

Liberty SoftWash

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Pressure Washer PA

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Approved Exterior Cleaner

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Eric what do you use for asphalt shingle roofs?

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http://www.CharliesRoofCleaning.com

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Serving Long Island, N.Y.

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When we coat standing seam roofs.

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Eric Seitz

Liberty SoftWash

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Roof Cleaner near York PA

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Approved Window Cleaner

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Pat they only have authority over employees. They were started as a way to cut down on employee accidents. As an owner you don't fall under their jurisdiction. If you are a sub that might be different depending on your state.

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Tony Evans

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Approved Exterior Cleaner

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Thanks Tony.

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http://www.CharliesRoofCleaning.com

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Approved Window Cleaner

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No problem. Bill has a ton of info on this stuff as well.

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Tony Evans

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You have 15 minutes to tie off or run a horizontal life line, per OSHA requirements.  You want to follow the fall restraint guidelines and not the fall arrest guidelines from the OSHA site. fall restraint is much safer and preferred by OSHA. Any anchor point you use must be able to withstand ten times the persons weight or 5000 pound fall loading, which ever is greater.



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There certainly is a lot of ambiguity on the subject. I cant find consistent requirements and OSHA themselves acknowledge its changing requirements etc. I was hoping there would be a fairly straightforward source of information for compliance perhaps with videos and a basic outline of the info thats needs to be provided to anyone requiring it.
Frankly I think Costco does not even know what it is asking for, its just covering itself. As of now, I'm not in a position to fly employees to have special schooling to learn what seems to be 80% comical minutia to satisfy the requirements that are freakishly long and wordy and need a law professor to translate. Not to mention the outlandish costs. most of which you have to apply for them to give you the cost.
(Ok im done for now)

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jaloisio wrote:

You have 15 minutes to tie off or run a horizontal life line, per OSHA requirements.  You want to follow the fall restraint guidelines and not the fall arrest guidelines from the OSHA site. fall restraint is much safer and preferred by OSHA. Any anchor point you use must be able to withstand ten times the persons weight or 5000 pound fall loading, which ever is greater.


 I've heard it's 15 minutes as well but can't find it in print. Do you have a link. I'd love to post it in a few places.



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Tony Evans

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Approved Exterior Cleaner

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It is from local OSHA rep in Philly. I have been on jobs with him and he has stated it before. I have heard it from other roofers as well, but never really looked for it in print. It only makes sense, because you need to be able to tie off.



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John Aloisio - Owner

The Roof Wizard - Non Pressure Roof & Exterior Cleaning

880 S. Grand St. , Hammonton, NJ 08037

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www.theroofwizard.net

609-705-0093 

     

 



Approved Window Cleaner

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I agree it only makes sense. It's just that some guys on the forums require something in print. Next time you talk to your rep can you ask him where to find that?

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Tony Evans

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Good Thread

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Aloha Eric,

I would expand your level of expertise and offer to install permanent roof anchor systems throughout the roof structure. This may require outsourcing a engineer but I guarantee the money will be there as its for safety and they will never question your prices or look for other bids down the road. There are quite a few permanent roof anchoring systems for flat roofs. With all the sky lights, solar panels, air conditioning units and such on roofs now I would definitely suggests the elevated versions.  



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Michael Wedge


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Mike the only reason I'd advise NOT to do permenant anchors is the liability factor.
Say another contractor or H.O. uses it and even if a fail is due to their fault, YOU can be liable.
If you install one for your own work, I'd remove it afterwards.

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Maverick Contracting

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Sorry Mav,,,,I'm with Mike.

If I need to worry about being liable for someone else stupidity then I just need to stay home. We spray SH every single day and there is a ton more liability there. Think about the kid that smells something funny and says he's sick. Mom sees you spraying chemicals all over the roof. "OMG..........YOU JUST GAVE MY KID CANCER!!!!!!"

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Approved Exterior Cleaner

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Wow I forgot about this post/thread. I pretty much worked it out with the Costco's. they are huge and basically flat. There is only an issue around the perimeter where the parapet wall is shorter. I have a 50 page (or so) fall protection plan I give them and they don't question it. They have no idea what they are asking for any way. It covers all my needs and satisfies their requirements and Oshas. We have 8 Costco's now. We do their annual maintenance, repairs and exterior cleaning where possible.

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My 2 cents - I'm with Doug on this one. First off, the likely hood of someone re-using your anchors and them failing or a fall accident happening in the future is extremely low. Add to the fact that the liability rests on the user to ensure the anchors are installed properly. Window cleaners use roof anchors that are installed by others everyday, and if they fail - it's actually on the building owners as well as the window cleaners for not ensuring they are rated and tested by a third party company. This is case law now. 

Anchors are easy to install properly and anchor manufacturers have step by step installation guidelines that are easy to follow. If someone follows those, I don't think any judge would award a lawsuit if another person fell by "even if it was from their own fault/stupidity". 

Leaving holes in a roof from a temp anchor is just as much a "liability", even if you repair it correctly. People sue anyone for anything these days. I'm not going to jeopardize the safety of my guys because I'm scared of a very minuscule chance of being sued.

Full disclosure - we install roof anchors on every roof we clean. 30% are temporary and 70% of them are permanent retrofit anchors and we charge $60 per anchor for the install. We've made over $27k for the year installing anchors on residential and multifamily homes. We train every employee how to install both in their first week of hire.



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