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Reinforced plastic tarps, commonly called “Blue Roofs,” provide temporary protection for the roofs of homes and other buildings damaged during severe weather such as a hurricane or tornado. When employees access roofs to install these tarps, they are at risk of falls, electrocutions, and other hazards. OSHA recommends the following steps to help keep workers safe:
IDENTIFY THE HAZARDS
• ALWAYS avoid electrical hazards!
• Look for downed overhead power lines; treat all power lines as “live.”
• WARNING: Generator use can cause “backfeed” — energizing lines that are no longer receiving power from the electrical grid. Contact the utility company to ensure lines are de-energized. Do not use a metal ladder near power lines or in close proximity to energized electrical equipment.
• ASSESS the roof condition/stability prior to allowing employees to start work.
• Do not allow employees to work on top of a damaged roof until after the strength and structural integrity of the roof has been determined.
• SELECT the fall protection system(s) employees will use while installing the tarp.
• Low-slope roofs (a roof with a slope of less than or equal to 4 inches of vertical rise for every 12 inches horizontal length) use conventional fall protection (fall arrest, guardrails, or safety nets) with or without a warning line system; a warning line system with a monitor; or a monitor alone on small roofs (50 ft. or less in width). CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE OSHA FACT SHEET...
- Western States Roofing Contractors Association
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