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ROOFING EDUCATION CONFERENCE

Posted By WSRCA, Tuesday, April 17, 2018



Western Roofing Expo 2018


Roofing Education Conference

WSRCA knows that you as a roofing or waterproofing contractor need to stay on top of the latest technical developments in the industry — and that's no easy feat! OSHA compliance, product issues, and best business practices are just a few of today's concerns. WSRCA has put together an amazing line-up of premium educational workshops for you - the roofing contractor - to succeed in today's competitive business environment. Earn CEU's, educate your company, and get a leg up on thecompetition!


Presented by: the Western States Roofing Contractors Association

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Tags:  BUSINESS  LEGAL  SAFETY  TECHNICAL 

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Repeat Violations will add up quick in 2018

Posted By Darin Douglas, Lowe Roofing, Inc., Monday, January 22, 2018


 

 

Courtesy of: OSHA.gov News Release

https://www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region5/01032018

 

U.S. Department of Labor Finds Ohio Contractor Continues
To Expose Roofers to Falls and Other Safety Hazards

HOLLAND, OH ‒ The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited an Ohio roofing contractor for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards. The contractor, Casey Bortles, faces proposed penalties totaling $91,629.

On Oct. 26, 2017, inspectors observed five roofers at a Waterville residential site working at heights greater than 8 feet without adequate fall protection, and employees using nail guns without eye protection. OSHA also cited the company for failing to train workers on fall hazards, and for not developing and maintaining an accident prevention program. Bortles has been cited for similar violations four times since 2014.

“This employer continues to expose employees to fall hazards by failing to comply with federal safety requirements,” said OSHA Toledo Area Office Director Kim Nelson. “Employers are responsible for ensuring employees are adequately protected from the hazards that exist at their worksites.”

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

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Drive Safely and Buckle Up!

Posted By Darin Douglas, Merge 3 Technology, Inc., Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Be careful on the roads this Year.  Vehicle safety is a big part of your company safety program.  By training your team to buckle up and follow all traffic laws you take a big step towards sending everyone home safe.  

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Roof Tarping (Blue Roof) Safety

Posted By WSRCA, Friday, December 1, 2017
Updated: Friday, December 1, 2017

 

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.

 

Courtesy of: OSHA Fact Sheet

 

 

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).

 

• Steep roofs (greater than 4 in 12 vertical to horizontal) do not stand on a steep roof without using conventional fall protection systems.  

 

Installing the Tarp

• Never install a tarp during a storm while it is windy or raining.  

 

• Use proper protective equipment such as hard hats and eye protection and/or other control measures such as chutes and barricaded areas when removing roof debris. This ensures employees on the ground are not exposed to hazards from falling objects.  

 

• Remove roof debris using a roof rake or brush from ground level. If using a ladder, ensure the use of proper safety techniques to prevent falls.   Whenever possible, avoid getting on the roof when tasks can be done from ladders or other stable platforms.

 

• When accessing the roof, lean the ladder at a safe angle that is at a 4:1 ratio (one foot away from the building at the bottom for each four feet of ladder length to the roof eave), and make sure the ladder extends three feet above the roof edge.  

 

• Watch for tripping hazards including vent stacks, satellite dishes, lightning arresting components and cables, and cleats holding down the tarp.  

 

• Do not walk on a tarp. A tarped roof will be very slippery, especially when wet.

 

• Watch your step — skylights and other openings that have been tarped over will not be obvious to someone walking on the roof.  

 

Worker's Rights

Worker's have the right to:

 

• Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.  

 

• Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.  

 

• Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.  

 

• File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA’s rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.

 

• Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.  For additional information, see OSHA’s Workers page. 

 

Note: Using a rope grab as part of a fall protection system is one example, among others, of equipment that can be used to reduce the risk of falling. All components of the system, including the harness, rope and rope grab, any connectors, and the anchor point must meet applicable OSHA requirements 

 

How to Contact OSHA

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627. 

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OSHA Issues Deadlines for Electronic Reporting of Injuries and Illness

Posted By WSRCA, Monday, November 13, 2017

OSHA Issues Deadlines for Electronic Reporting of Injuries and Illness

Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine

 

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its official deadlines for tracking workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers in high-risk industries such as roofing, are required to electronically submit their 2016 annual data from OSHA for 300A by Dec. 1.

Every single location where the company operates with between 20 and 250 employees must submit their 2017 300A forms by July 1, 2018, to maintain compliance. The annual deadline will permanently move to March 2 in 2019, a news release stated.

Roofing contractors with more than 249 employees have the same Dec. 1 deadline for 300A forms, but must submit OSHA Forms 300A, 300 and 301 for 2017 incidents by July 1, 2018, and then annually on March 2 starting in 2019.

Employers will be able to use the web-based system's Injury Tracking Application, which was introduced Aug. 1, to report the information that typically would be submitted on the paper forms. Visit www.osha.gov for more information.

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Prevent Roof Fires During Torch-Down Projects

Posted By WSRCA, Friday, November 3, 2017

Prevent Roof Fires During Torch-Down Projects

 

Courtesy of: Roofing Magazine, Michael J. Dudek

While driving to work recently, I heard a news story on the radio: An unlicensed roofer was charged with causing a fire at a local apartment complex. When I arrived at the office, I Googled “fires caused by roofers.” The results included stories from across the nation:

  • Roofing crew blamed for a Chicago strip-mall fire.
  • Roofer’s torch likely cause of huge Arizona construction-site blaze.
  • Roofer’s blowtorch sparks a six-alarm fire in Hamilton Township, N.J.  

Obviously, using an open-flame torch to install torch-down roofing systems can pose a fire risk. Torch-down roofing is a type of roofing that consists of layers of modified bitumen adhered to layers of fiberglass with a flame torch. Torch-down roofing is used only for flat or low-slope roofs.

This process is popular with many contractors, mainly because of its ease of installation and its adaptability. With this system, the modified bitumen can bond tightly to metal flashings while the rubbery additives in the asphalt allow the roofing to expand and contract when other roofing systems may crack. In addition, roofers like torch-down roofing because it is easy to apply.

Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous! It is easy to make a mistake with the torch that could result in disaster. Consider roofers that are torching down a roof and accidentally overheat something in the attic—insulation, for instance. They end their work for the day, not noticing the smoke coming out of soffit vents. Before long, that smoldering material in the attic heats up and starts a fire that quickly spreads throughout the dry, hot attic and, often, to the rest of the structure. 

Regulations and Best Practices OSHA has developed standards that can help prevent these types of fires. Here are some of OSHA’s fire-protection and -prevention rules from the construction and general industry standards: A fire extinguisher must be immediately accessible for all torch-down operations. A fire extinguisher is needed within 50 feet of anywhere where more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used on the job site. No one on a job site can be more than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher at all times. There must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 square feet of work area.

All flammable or combustible debris must be located well away from flammable liquids or gases. Combustible scrap and debris must be removed regularly during the course of a job. Piles of scrap and debris must be kept at least 10 feet from any building. A fire watch person should be posted to immediately address any possible smolders or flare-ups. The fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day. While the actions spelled out in these construction regulations are mandatory, roofing professionals should be aware that these are minimum requirements.

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OSHA Issues Interim Guidelines for Silica Standard Enforcement for Roofing Contractors

Posted By WSRCA, Friday, November 3, 2017

OSHA Issues Interim Guidelines for Silica Standard Enforcement for Roofing Contractors

 

Courtesy of: Roofing Contractor Magazine

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its official interim enforcement guidelines for the newly-implemented silica standard.

The key provision of the rule with the greatest potential impact to roofing contractors is the reduction of the allowable exposure limit from 250 to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over a traditional eight-hour shift. The standard was approved last year but implementation was delayed until last September while the agency developed guidelines for enforcement of the controversial changes.

A lawsuit filed last year by seven national trade associations to block the rule was recently dismissed. The guidelines are designed for OSHA inspectors to follow, but are noteworthy for roofing contractors because they cover everything from exposure assessments to methods of compliance including the medical surveillance provisions. It also lays out possible penalties for failing to comply.

A full list of the guidelines is available on the OSHA website (www.osha.gov).

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FIRE HAZARDS

Posted By WSRCA, Wednesday, October 11, 2017

FIRE HAZARDS

Are You Sure You Closed Your Jobsite Properly?

 

by: Eddie Garcia, Territory Sales Manager, Roofmaster Products Company

A customer of mine recently mentioned a story about a contractor who was performing a torch down job on a commercial roof. The foreman and his crew were closing the site, and before leaving for the day, the foreman performed a visual and touch check on the deck to make sure it was cool and not a fire risk. Later that night, however, the foreman received a frantic call from the building owner because the building was engulfed in flames.

One thought immediately popped into my head.  Did the foreman walk the whole roof? Maybe the foreman only checked the immediate areas where the torches were being used. Something can accidentally begin to overheat at the end of the day, and workers packing up may not notice a small fire that can quickly turn into a big disaster after hours.

There are several regulations that OSHA has in place that help reduce the likelihood of a fire hazard, including: a fire extinguisher must be accessible for all torch-down operations; a fire extinguisher is needed 50' of anywhere where more than five gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or five pounds of flammable gas are being used on a jobsite; no one on the jobsite can be more than 100' from a fire extinguisher at all times; there must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 sq. ft. of a work area; a fire watch person should be posted to immeadiately address any possible smolders or flare-ups; and the fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day.

Per torch-down OSHA requirements for working with torches, at a minimum roofing professionals should have proper fire extinguishers and an infrared thermometer to scan the deck for hot spots that are undetectable to the human eye.

Contractors and foreman should take caution when it comes to torch-down roofs and be sure to thoroughly inspect all areas of the roof before shutting down for the day. Additionally, with the help of tools, such as an infrared thermometer, roofing professionals can assure that their jobsite is safe for the evening or weekend.

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OSHA REGULATIONS - A Shorter Leash for OSHA & Other Federal Agencies

Posted By WSRCA, Wednesday, October 11, 2017

OSHA REGULATIONS - A SHORTER LEASH FOR OSHA & OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES

The President Has Signed an Executive Order Demanding OSHA Update Its Policies

by: Marc Dodson, Editor: Western Roofing Magazine - Sept/Oct 2017

 

I realize that most roofing contractors would choose having a Brazilian waxing administered by a blind, sadistic nun rather than being bestowed the honor of a visit from OSHA. Well, that favorite political department, along with several other agencies, is being put on a shorter leash. It's no secret that when a new administration takes over the White House, they push their own political views and agendas, and adjust federal agency policies accordingly. OSHA, it seems, is always at the forefront and one of the first agencies to be put in the crosshairs. Right now that's good news for roofing contractors.

According to the Department of Labor's Updated Agenda from July, the Trump administration has signed an executive order demanding OSHA update its policies. They state that by amending and eliminating regulations that are ineffective, duplicative, and obsolete, the administration can promote economic growth and innovation and protect individual liberty. Executive Orders 13771 and 13777 require agencies, including OSHA, to reduce unnecessary regulatory burden and to enforce regulatory reform initiatives. As a step in the right direction, the first five months of this administration produced quantifiable annualized cost savings estimated at $22 million, compared to $6.8 billion in annualized costs due to rules finalized during the last five months of fiscal year 2016. 

The Department of Labor went on to state that the agenda represents ongoing progress toward the goals of more effective and less burdensome regulations that include the following developements: agencies withdrew 469 actions proposed in the Fall 2016 agenda; agencies reconsidered 391 active actions by reclassifying them as long term, 282, and inactive, 109, allowing for further careful review; and economically significant regulations fell to 58, or about 50% less than Fall 2016. For the first time, agencies will post and make public their list of inactive rules, providing notice to the public of regulations still being reviewed or considered.

An additional executive order signed by President Trump in January requires that federal agencies cut two regulations for every new one that is proposed. This is one order that should be applauded by every United States business owner who has ever felt buried by government regulations. President Trump also struck down the Volks rule, a regulation that allowed OSHA to issue citations for inadequate injury and illness recordkeeping for 5 1/2 years. This will revert the recordkeeping rule to the six-month statute of limitations. 

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TEAR-OFF SAFETY

Posted By WSRCA, Wednesday, October 11, 2017

TEAR-OFF SAFETY

The Heat of Summer Does Not Mean Relaxing on Safety

by: Eddie Garcia, Territory Sales Manager, Roofmaster Products Company

 

Tear-off can certainly be one of the more dangerous aspects of roofing. Whether it be commercial, using power equipment, or residential, using hand tools, crew safety certainly must be given priority #1.  Falling off or through the roof is probably the main concern, but cuts and lacerations, abrasions, dust inhalation, and hazmat materials must also be added to the equation. All crewmembers need to be outfitted properly with protective clothing, gloves, shoes, etc.  Sometimes during the hot summer months it is very easy and likely that this area becomes relaxed for obvious reasons. However discomforting, reasonable attempts must be made to make sure the crews wear protective clothing. Safety shoes should be worn even if athletic shoes are cheaper and more comfortable to wear. Athletic shoes do not provide proper protection, especially with nails protruding up through the roof deck. Remember to have first aid kits nearby for those minor cuts, burns, and abrasions. All crewmembers should know where the first aid kit is located.

Along with a great pair of heavy duty leather gloves, a dust mask should also be common equipment for all crewmembers. OSHA is aiming its sights on dust problems. Cutting of concrete and clay tiles and the dust they generate is becoming a heavy issue of safety and the lung ailments they potentially cause. Tear off disturbs years of airborne dust and dirt buildup to be inhaled by every crewmember on the jobsite. Hard (safety) hats may also be required on many commercial projects. Check with the general or roofing contractor to know what specific additional equipment  may be required for the project. 

Personal fall arrest kits may also be required. Know what the local and state OSHA regulations require for the specific tear off situation. For instance, in California, higher than 20' is usually automatic for requiring personal fall arrest, but in other states it may be as low as 7'. Parapet walls less than 2' have on requirement while great than 2' requires another safety measure. 

Perimeter warning systems on some commercial projects may be required to section off certain hazardous areas. This system only allows a worker to get within less than 7' of the roof edge. Otherwise a fall arrest system may be required or full guardrail (fence) system may be necessary. Be prepared to nail plywood sheets over stairways, skylight holes, and any other openings in the roof deck surface to protect workers from falling through. 

For high commercial projects, be sure to safely discard tear-off materials through the use of trash hoppers and chutes. Do not just throw material off the roof edge. Damage to property and injury to workers below can be costly in additional repairs or medical expenses. Use caution tape or perimeter warning systems to partition off dangerous areas around and below the affected work areas. Have a methodical plan for removing material from both the roof and jobsite that cuts down costs, but does not sacrifice worker safety.

And remember the drinking water. All OSHA regulations require that employers have adequate quantities of water on hand, up to 8-10 quarts per worker, to provide proper hydration, for workers, especially during hot summer days. Tear-off is dirty, dusty hard work. Clean, drinkable water is just as necessary to workers as all their other safety gear. 

 

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