- Inspect perimeter walls for warning notices;
- Inspect roof to determine the presence, condition, and extent of fragile components and the general structural integrity of the roof, including cladding and supports, and distribution of load;
- Skylights must be secured with safety wire mesh above and below each fixture, and they should be inspected regularly;
- Post appropriate warning signs at access points if roof is fragile;
- Check the existence and condition of safety mesh;
- Verify a safe means of getting up and down; and
- During harsh weather, including rain, snow, ice, or wind, roofing material conditions may change. A thorough inspection must be done.
The nature of the precautions needed to work safely on a roof will vary from job to job. As for all jobs, however, employers must ensure that workers assigned to roof jobs are trained in the particularities of the work – that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to work safely – on a roof – and that they are aware of fragile areas and how to work around them. General safety rules for working on a fragile roof include the following:
- Look for and heed signs such as “Danger Fragile Roof” and “Use Crawl Boards” that may be posted at access points to the roof;
- Use appropriate access equipment, whether crawl boards, roof ladders, walkways, and/or planks;
- Use appropriate fall arrest gear – safety harnesses attached to suitable anchorages – when you must work near fragile roof material;
- Do not walk upright on a fragile roof unless appropriate equipment is in place;
- Keep roof work areas clear of debris and clutter that could cause a trip and fall; and
- Wear suitable shoes that control slipping.
Information contained in this article was provided through the MSHA-NSSGA Alliance and was written cooperatively by members of both the aggregates industry and the regulatory agency.
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