Savings and Safety Tips for December 2014 from All Safety Products, Inc.Roof Sheathing Operations
Protect Your Employees For Roof Sheafing
Workers typically install roof sheathing after all trusses/rafters and any permanent truss bracing is in place. Roof structures are unstable until some sheathing is installed, so workers installing roof sheathing cannot be protected from fall hazards by conventional fall protection systems until it is determined that the roofing system can be used as an anchorage point. At that point, employees shall be protected by a personal fall arrest system.
Trusses/rafters are subject to collapse if a worker falls while attached to a single truss with a belt/harness. Nets could also cause collapse, and there is no place to attach guardrails.
All workers will ensure that they have secure footing before they attempt to walk on the sheathing, including cleaning shoes/boots of mud or other slip hazards.
To minimize the time workers must be exposed to a fall hazard, materials will be staged to allow for the quickest installation of sheathing.
See Osha website for additional fall protection in Residential Construction.
The following are some suggested steps to take to protect workers who are exposed to fall hazards while installing roof sheathing:
Once roof sheathing installation begins, workers not involved in that activity shall not stand or walk below or adjacent to the roof opening or exterior walls in any area where they could be struck by falling objects.
The competent person shall determine the limits of this area, which shall be clearly communicated to workers prior to placement of the first piece of roof sheathing.
The competent person may order work on the roof to be suspended for brief periods as necessary to allow other workers to pass through such areas when this would not create a greater hazard.
Only qualified workers shall install roof sheathing.
The bottom row of roof sheathing may be installed by workers standing in truss webs.
After the bottom row of roof sheathing is installed, a slide guard extending the width of the roof shall be securely attached to the roof. Slide guards are to be constructed of no less than nominal 4" height capable of limiting the uncontrolled slide of workers. Workers should install the slide guard while standing in truss webs and leaning over the sheathing;
Additional rows of roof sheathing may be installed by workers positioned on previously installed rows of sheathing. A slide guard can be used to assist workers in retaining their footing during successive sheathing operations.
Additional slide guards shall be securely attached to the roof at intervals not to exceed 13 feet as successive rows of sheathing are installed. For roofs with pitches in excess of 9-in-12, slide guards will be installed at four-foot intervals.
When wet weather (rain, snow, or sleet) are present, roof sheathing operations shall be suspended unless safe footing can be assured for those workers installing sheathing.
When strong winds (above 40 miles per hour) are present, roof sheathing operations are to be suspended unless wind breakers are erected. Installation of Floor Joists and Sheathing During the installation of floor sheathing/joists (leading edge construction), the following steps shall be taken to protect workers:
Only trained workers will be allowed to install floor joists or sheathing.
Materials for the operations shall be conveniently staged to allow for easy access to workers.
The first floor joists or trusses will be rolled into position and secured either from the ground, ladders or sawhorse scaffolds.
Each successive floor joist or truss will be rolled into place and secured from a platform created from a sheet of plywood laid over the previously secured floor joists or trusses.
Except for the first row of sheathing which will be installed from ladders or the ground, workers shall work from the established deck.
Any workers not assisting in the leading edge construction while leading edges still exist (e.g. cutting the decking for the installers) shall not be permitted within six feet of the leading edge under construction.
At All Safety Products, Inc., we offer a wide selection of fall protection items.
Portable Ladder Safety
Falls from portable ladders (step, straight, combination and extension) are one of the leading causes of occupational fatalities and injuries.
At All Safety Products, Inc., we offer a wide selection of ladder safety products.
Some good tips are:
- Read and follow all labels / markings on the ladder.
- Avoid electrical hazards! - Look for overhead power lines before handling a ladder. Avoid using a metal ladder near power lines or exposed energized electrical equipment.
- Visit OSHA website for their Quick Card on Portable Ladder Safety
- Always inspect the ladder prior to using it. If the ladder is damaged, it must be removed from service and tagged until repaired or discarded.
- Always maintain a 3-point (two hands and a foot, or two feet and a hand) contact on the ladder when climbing. Keep your body near the middle of the step and always face the ladder while climbing (see diagram on OSHA Website).
- Only use ladders and appropriate accessories (ladder levelers, jacks or hooks) for their designed purposes.
- Ladders must be free of any slippery material on the rungs, steps or feet.
- Do not use a self-supporting ladder (e.g., step ladder) as a single ladder or in a partially closed position.
- Do not use the top step/rung of a ladder as a step/rung unless it was designed for that purpose.
- Use a ladder only on a stable and level surface, unless it has been secured (top or bottom) to prevent displacement.
- Do not place a ladder on boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to obtain additional height.
- Do not move or shift a ladder while a person or equipment is on the ladder.
- An extension or straight ladder used to access an elevated surface must extend at least 3 feet above the point of support (see diagram). Do not stand on the three top rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.
- The proper angle for setting up a ladder is to place its base a quarter of the working length of the ladder from the wall or other vertical surface (see diagram).
- A ladder placed in any location where it can be displaced by other work activities must be secured to prevent displacement or a barricade must be erected to keep traffic away from the ladder.
- Be sure that all locks on an extension ladder are properly engaged.
- Do not exceed the maximum load rating of a ladder. Be aware of the ladder's load rating and of the weight it is supporting, including the weight of any tools or equipment.
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