Washington State Department of Labor & Industries – Last year, a 46-year-old man, with 20 years of roofing experience, fell 20 feet during a routine job, resulting in multiple fractures, a collapsed lung, a traumatic brain injury, and ultimately a coma.
Working on installing metal roofing panels on a new single-family residential construction site, the worker slipped and rolled off the roof. The metal had become slippery after on-and-off rain, and all of the crew members were wearing tennis shoes. Additionally, the crew was rushing the daily work in an attempt to finish the job early. It was a neighbor who eventually discovered the man lying unconscious on the ground, alerted the crew and called 911.
After investigations into the incident, it was shown that no fall protection was utilized. More than a year later, the man is still unable to work and continues to suffer from his injuries.
Last week, The Integrated Group wrote on the importance of going beyond OSHA compliance to ensure safety, especially in regards to fall protection. Any fall at any height, regardless of experience, can cause serious injury or death. Never take safety lightly. Slow down and take the time to do the job right. It could easily save your life.
Resources for Washington State fall protection regulations for 4 ft or more can be found here, and here for 10 ft and above. For legal regulations regarding footwear, click here, and the OSHA standards on installing standing seam metal roofs for residential construction can be found here.