Prefabricated Edge Metal Helps Shape Unique Roofs on a Georgia Hospital

To expand its services and make it easier for patients and visitors to navigate its facility, Gordon Hospital, Calhoun, Ga., underwent a $37 million expansion. The project added 59,000 square feet of hospital space, renovated 11,500 square feet of space, and created a new patient tower entrance to separate inpatient and outpatient service entrances. The various aspects of the project included 11 different roof areas, so the project’s general contractor, the Atlanta office of Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie, brought Atlanta’s Diamond Roofing Co. into the project during concept design.

The architects designed all the curves and unique walls to make the campus beyond ordinary and give the hospital a certain appeal.

The architects designed all the curves and unique walls to make the campus beyond ordinary and give the hospital a certain appeal.

“The hospital addition and renovation was still just a sketch and a narrative, and we worked together to understand the owner’s needs and architect’s intent,” says Dave Mossige, Diamond Roofing’s president. “Roofing systems have be- come very complex over the years and it really does take a roofing specialist to navigate the numerous options and decide the best roofing systems for the project.”

Having the roofing contractor onboard from inception also helped with staging. When it became apparent that two canopies between the new and existing buildings would pose significant challenges with materials’ access, the team was able to plan ahead and stock-pile materials near the area months pri- or to needing them.

GETTING THINGS LEVEL

Because this was a fast-track project, 10 to 15 crew members worked across multiple roof areas. “All the other trades come in behind us once we have the roof ready, so getting the roof area dried-in was key to the schedule,” Mossige says. “That’s why we chose a more durable two-ply modified bitumen rather than a single-ply system for the roofing. Disturbances that happened to the base while the trades were working off the roofs could be quickly and easily repaired before we applied the cap sheet.”

The roofing areas added up to 25,400 square feet of space, including the main roof, penthouse and various other canopies. The main roof on the new addition was unique because it was divided into two portions: one with a steel deck and another with a concrete deck for future vertical expansion. The concrete deck was 5-inches higher than the steel deck.

To make the steel deck meet the thickness of the adjacent concrete deck for a level roof, Diamond Roofing’s team mechanically fastened 5 inches of polyisocyanurate insulation on the steel and then installed a 1/4-inch-per-foot-total tapered ISO system. The team then applied a cover board to increase the system’s wind rating and provide better adhesion of the base ply. The tapered system and cover board were set in ribbons of low-rise foam adhesive. The next layer was an SBS modified bitumen as a cold-process adhesive and then a fire-rated granular cap sheet, also set in a cold-process adhesive.

Although Diamond Roofing has a sheet-metal shop in which team members fabricate edge metal, it worked with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal that had been formally tested to meet or exceed the hospital's required FM 1-105 criterion.

Although Diamond Roofing has a sheet-metal shop in which team members fabricate edge metal, it worked with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal that had been formally tested to meet or exceed the hospital’s required FM 1-105 criterion.

PRECISE EDGE METAL

Although Diamond Roofing has a sheet-metal shop in which team members fabricate edge metal, most of the roofing firm’s product is equivalent to a wind rating of FM 1-60 and FM 1-90. FM approval ratings apply to uplift pressures in pounds per square foot. Hospitals are constructed to stricter standards, however, and officials at Gordon Hospital wanted to ensure an FM 1-105 approval rating. Diamond Roofing worked with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal that had been formally tested to meet or exceed the FM 1-105 criterion.

The ability to order the sheer volume of edge metal needed also saved time on the project. “We had over 2,500 lineal feet of edge metal on this project. That would’ve taken us three weeks to fabricate,” Mossige explains. “In addition, the highly unique specifications of the edge metal needed for the project made it more cost-effective for us to outsource it.”

The edge metal needed to be a heavy gauge of 0.063 prefinished aluminum with a protective Kynar 500 resin-based coating. The architects also wanted welded mitered corners. In certain places on the roofs, unusual radiuses and slopes—occasionally joining with straight coping at offset angles—meant some inside and outside miters had to be exactingly produced for odd angles like 104 and 140 degrees.

For example, on one parapet, two different elevations come together at a corner, making precision critical for the manufacturer and installer. “When you are dealing with preformed metal, you have to be precise,” Mossige notes, “but when you’re doing a raised, offset miter, you have to be perfect.”

PHOTOS: OMG EDGESYSTEMS

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Safety Week Seeks to Raise Awareness at Job Sites

More than 50 national and global construction firms have joined forces for the annual Safety Week, a construction industry-wide education and awareness event. Safety Week 2016 will be held May 2-6 to align with what the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other federal agencies have set as the National Safety Stand-Down focusing on fall prevention on the job.

Safety Week is an opportunity for people and companies—even competitors—to work together and rally around a common cause. During Safety Week, construction companies will take the opportunity to thank their employees for the commitment to safety and work to educate, inspire and share best practices. Many companies will conduct on-site safety awareness activities.

“Ask anyone in construction and they will tell you that safety is the No. 1 priority—it crosses competitive boundaries and ties us all together,” says Ross Myers, CEO, Allan Myers and Safety Week co-chair.

“That is the reason we’ve chosen Safety Ties as our theme this year, because the commitment to safety is strongest when it’s woven into the culture of our work and is a visible part of our everyday routines and processes. For workers on a job site, this starts with the individual. Every day, each person needs to take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of those around them.”

To symbolize Safety Ties, participating companies will launch social media campaigns around photos of bootlaces as a visible homage to Safety Week.

Three major U.S. construction sites will host ceremonial events during which the laces and a “ribbon tying” will be used as powerful emblems of safety.

Job sites include:

  • The New NY Bridge (replacing the Tappan Zee), Tarrytown, N.Y. – featuring eight general traffic lanes, cashless tolling, and a shared-use path for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • The Crenshaw/LAX Transit project, Los Angeles – an 8.5-mile light-rail line, with eight stations, serving the Crenshaw District, Inglewood, Westchester and surrounding area.
  • The 35Express Project, Dallas, Texas – a $1.4 billion expansion of Interstate 35E between U.S. Highway 380 in Denton County and I-­635 in Dallas County extending approximately 30 miles, through nine cities and two counties to relieve traffic congestion. AGL Constructors, a joint venture between Archer Western Contractors LLC, Granite Construction Inc. and the Lane Construction Corp., in partnership with the design team of Parsons and HDR Inc., manages construction of the 35Express Project for the Texas Department of Transportation. The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2017.

At these events, guest speakers and project executives will speak about the status of their projects and the importance of and unifying nature of safety.

“A culture of safety starts at the CEO’s office and I applaud all the corporate executives who focus on safety as their essential product,” says LA Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “The end users of these great transportation projects understand that by caring for the safety of workers, we also care about the quality and safety of the entire system.”

Additionally, Safety Week activations will be held at many other job sites across the country.

NRCA and United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers Jointly Support National Safety Stand-Down, May 2-6

The following is a joint statement attributable to William Good, CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association, and Kinsey M. Robinson, international president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers:

“On behalf of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers (UURWAW) and National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), we are pleased to continue our annual support for the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, organized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), taking place throughout the U.S. from May 2-6, 2016.

“The latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show 69 workers in the roofing industry died in 2014 from falls that occurred as they were doing their jobs. Those numbers reflect 69 families that have been changed forever by the loss of a loved one—a spouse, father, mother, son or daughter whose death has left a void in the hearts of family and friends.

“The National Safety Stand-Down is an effort to focus company and worker attention on the significance of fall hazards in construction and emphasize the importance of effectively implementing fall-protection systems on every project. NRCA and UURWAW encourage their members and all involved in the roofing industry to participate in the National Safety Stand-Down by delivering focused fall-protection awareness toolbox talks at the start of each day during that week and throughout the year.

“NRCA’s Toolbox Talks regarding personal fall-arrest systems, skylight and roof openings, warning-line systems and ladder safety can be found by clicking here. In addition, NRCA and OSHA will co-host a webinar about roofing fall protection Monday, May 2.

Special materials developed by UURWAW about fall protection can be accessed online, as well.

“Let’s pledge to continue the efforts to increase awareness of fall hazards, not just that week but throughout the year so all workers are safe performing the critical, quality work they do and are able to go home to their families each day!”

Keep Job Sites Safe with Hard Hat Tethers and Lanyard Systems

Hammerhead Industries introduces its  line of hard hat tethers and lanyard systems.

Hammerhead Industries introduces its line of hard hat tethers and lanyard systems.

Dropped from aloft, a hard hat is a 1-pound unguided missile that endangers the entire work site. It’s an accident that can be virtually eliminated with Hammerhead Industries’ line of hard hat tethers and lanyard systems.

In the unfortunate event of a fall, a fall-arrest harness protects the worker, but as his hard hat continues its descent, a fall-arrest harness won’t protect the worksite. Designed for use with all fall-protection harness systems, the RT5-5601 and RT5-5602 Hard Hat Retractable Tethering Systems are weight-tested to safely secure all commonly used industrial hard hats. The main difference is how each attaches to the worker.

The RT5-5601 is easily attached with Velcro strap loops and cinches around the fall protection harness strap, ring or tri-bar while the RT5-5602 employs a threaded stud that securely attaches to a garment with structure such as coveralls or vest. The RT5-5601 and RTS-5602 use a sturdy, industrial-grade spectra/nylon line that extends up to 14 inches. For additional safety, they both feature a gentle 2.5-ounce retraction force that takes up any unused slack to avoid entanglement by keeping the lanyard close to the body.

When workers are ready to call it a day, Gear Keeper’s patented Quick Connect System allows the hard hat to be easily disconnected without completely removing the lanyard’s base. The third product in the Gear Keeper Hard Hat line is the cost-effective standard Hard Hat lanyard TL1-5001. The 20-inch loop mount uses a spring clip that attaches to a garment with structure, such as coveralls or vest.

OSHA vs. State Rules: Residential Fall Protection

The Washington, D.C.-based Occupational Safety and Health Administration has demanded some states that administer their own occupational safety and health agencies and enforce state-specific workplace rules adopt federal provisions related to residential fall protection. California, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington are four such states with provisions for residential fall protection that differ from federal OSHA’s. One of the federal requirements is that fall protection is required in roofing work at heights of 6 feet or greater. OSHA has singled out this requirement as one that the states must meet or OSHA will take over enforcement of all construction workplace rules.

Government statistics indicate state plan states that use a risk-based approach, where roof height is one of many factors considered when developing regulations, generally experience lower worker death and injury rates than comparable federal states.

The recent release of initial workplace fatality numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, for 2014 has again brought the issue to the forefront and prompted the following Jan. 29, 2016, response from NRCA CEO William A. Good to Dean McKenzie, OSHA’s acting director of construction.

Dear Mr. McKenzie:

We are, of course, incredibly disappointed that you choose to carry on with your plan to impose federal rules, developed over the objections of the roofing industry, on states that have had considerable success with their own fall protection regulations. Those regulations have been developed, for the most part, with the ac- tive involvement of health and safety agencies, management and labor in the affected states. What’s more, in most of the states you cite as being deficient in meeting the federal “effectiveness” standard, the rate of accidents and fatalities from falls in construction is consistently better than it is in comparable states under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction.

And what’s even more incredible is that since federal OSHA unilaterally changed the rules for residential fall protection, the number of fatal falls has actually increased. OSHA’s promise that the cancellation of STD 3.1 in 2010 would make roofing workers safer has delivered the opposite result with 61 roofing workers killed by falls in 2012, 66 in 2013 and 69 in 2014. And yet OSHA marches on, unaffected by the facts.

How you can consistently ignore the data and instead rely on a vague definition of “effectiveness” is frankly beyond me, and makes absolutely no sense. It seems to me that an effective safety standard is one that actually works to protect workers from falls, rather than one that meets certain regulatory language.

In your letter you cite “standards that permit, for example, certain work to be performed at heights of 15 to 20 feet without positive fall protection.” As we have argued previously, the height of the roof is not the only issue that needs to be considered for effective fall protection. Rather, job-specific fall-protection assessment should take into account the type of building, the slope of the roof and the type of roofing materials being installed. This strikes me as being remarkably similar to the approach to safety Dr. Michaels, among others, has long advocated, but this approach is missing from OSHA’s heavy-handed efforts to impose federal rules on states.

In addition, if height were indeed the only issue, then perhaps you can explain why certain scaffolding operations are allowed up to 10 feet without fall protection, and why certain steel erection activities are allowed up to 30 feet without fall protection. And perhaps you can also explain why, over the period from 2010 to 2013, Texas had an average fatal construction fatality rate of 11.63, while California’s was 5.95.

The tragedy, of course, is that this isn’t just an academic conversation. Lives are at stake, and more are being lost in those states OSHA is responsible for than in those that have developed workable and, yes, effective, regulations.

I understand you choose not to meet with us to discuss this further. While I’m not surprised, I am left to wonder what is reasonably to be done to make roofing jobs safer. OSHA’s approach has made things worse, and you seem intent on just doing more of the same.

Sincerely,
William A. Good, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
National Roofing Contractors Association

Data Can’t Replace a Commitment to Safety

I recently read a paper titled “Predictive Analytics in Workplace Safety: Four ‘Safety Truths’ that Reduce Workplace Injuries”, published by Pittsburgh-based Predictive Solutions. The company offers a variety of safety solutions to help customers improve and sustain their safety program results. The article stated that predictive analytics help many organizations gain insight into their operations and use their resources in the most effective way. These models predict the likelihood, frequency and location of workplace injuries using the customers’ safety-observation data.

How can workplace injuries be predicted? Predictive analytics draws real-time conclusions about future risk using safety-observation data. For instance, the company’s “Red Flag” model identifies projects, sites or work groups that show characteristics at a higher risk of incidents.

In addition, Predictive Solutions offers consulting services that drive culture and process change within organizations to create sustainable workplace injury prevention programs. In my experience, a company’s culture is the most important aspect in reducing workplace injuries. Predicting occupational accidents, incidents and injuries is great as long as an employer is willing to change its company culture. One does not need a library of data to determine there is a problem in a company. On the other hand, experience tells me that extensive OSHA citations, high EMR (Experience Modification Rating), high workers’ compensation premiums and high employee-turnover rates are indicators of a company in need of a safety program. How the ownership, management, and workforce view safety is the real key to preventing workplace incidents and accidents. A mountain of data is useless without a commitment to make changes within a company.

For data to make a difference in an organization, a safety program must be in effect in the company. A safety program primarily requires a firm commitment from the owners and top management, as well as buy-in from all employees and all levels of management.

Secondly, a written HASP (Health and Safety Plan) that documents the firm’s commitment should be in place. For help in developing a health and safety plan, a company can hire a consultant or a safety professional; contact the OSHA area office; or visit OSHA’s website.

In addition, training must be included in the program. This training must follow all the pertinent OSHA standards. The most important standards for the roofing industry to follow are fall protection, scaffolding and powered industrial trucks.

Finally, it is important to provide feedback through job-site audits and inspections. These inspections can be performed in-house by managers, supervisors or a safety professional. Through inspections, the company can determine if its program is working.

Collecting data for the sake of collecting data is absolutely useless without a viable documented safety culture. Training and inspection programs must also be in place to address the data that has been collected.

Tool Lanyard Protects Tools, Property and Workers Below

Werner Co.'s 15-pound Tool Lanyard was designed to complement a complete fall protection system and improve safety and productivity in work environments.

Werner Co.’s 15-pound Tool Lanyard was designed to complement a complete fall protection system and improve safety and productivity in work environments.

Werner Co.‘s 15-pound Tool Lanyard was designed to complement a complete fall protection system and improve safety and productivity in work environments.

The lanyard is made up of a stretch cord surrounded by durable webbing that is 30 feet long when retracted and can extend up to 50 feet making job-related tasks easier. It includes a carabineer and drawstring connection points so the user can attach the lanyard to a work belt or harness.

Built for tough environments, this heavy-duty lanyard can hold a max-working load of 15 pounds, suitable for most handheld tools.

Safety Railing System Provides Fall Protection around Roof Hatch Openings

The BILCO Co. has introduced the BIL-Guard 2.0, the second generation of its safety railing system.

The BILCO Co. has introduced the BIL-Guard 2.0, the second generation of its safety railing system.

The BILCO Co. has introduced the BIL-Guard 2.0, the second generation of its safety railing system. The BIL-Guard 2.0, like its predecessor, is a fixed railing system that provides a permanent means of fall protection around roof hatch openings. The new and improved model will be available this summer and boasts aluminum construction for increased strength and rigidity, a redesigned self-closing hinge and positive latching system, and stainless steel hardware throughout. The product is available in mill finish aluminum and with a safety yellow powder-coat paint finish.

Also compliant with OSHA fall protection standards (29 CFR 1910.23), the BIL-Guard 2.0 features an innovative mounting system that does not penetrate the roofing membrane. The new system is easy to install and does not require special training or certification for proper installation. The design features quick-mount curb brackets for a fast, secure attachment and pivoting mounting sleeves with compression fittings to lock the railing system into place. The BIL-Guard 2.0 is also equipped with a standard self-closing gate to maintain continuous fall protection to ensure that OSHA compliance is preserved.

BlueWater to Showcase Solar-powered Warning Light at IRE

A provider of modular guardrail systems and passive fall protection systems, BlueWater Manufacturing Inc., a Safety Products Group company, will be exhibiting at the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE), taking place Feb. 17-19, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The International Roofing Expo is an annual trade show and educational conference where all segments of the roofing construction and maintenance industry come together for three days of face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.

BlueWater will be one of 1,100 booths exhibiting products, services and equipment for the roofing industry, including gutters, coatings/adhesives, built up, fasteners, machinery, metal, modified bitumen, roof pavers, renewable energy, walkways/ballast, shingles, slate, solar, spray polyurethane foam, tile, ventilation, waterproofing and more.

BlueWater will showcase its LumiGuard Solar-Powered Warning Light at IRE for the first time and promises to be an innovative and easy-to-install roofing safety product. The LumiGuard is a solar-powered warning light that can be easily installed onto current rooftop railings, gates, hatches, skylights and surrounding mechanicals.

“Our team is excited to offer this new and innovative product to the marketplace. LumiGuard adds a new dimension to roof safety during nighttime hours that just hasn’t existed until now,” says BlueWater’s vice president of Operations, Greg Kenton. “LumiGuard is easy to use and install for the end-user, and we’re proud to unveil it at IRE.”

For more information about BlueWater Manufacturing Inc. visit the company at booth No. 2407 at the 2016 International Roofing Expo, Feb. 17-19, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

A Roofer’s Guide to Safely Navigating the OSHA Employee Interview Process

The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

OSHA is asking questions. Are your employees ready to answer? When OSHA visits your next job site they will undoubtedly engage in what is known as the “Employee Interview” stage of the inspection. This is the part of the OSHA inspection where the compliance officer has the right to take your employees aside and interview them regarding company safety and health policies. The inspector will attempt to question your employees on everything from fall-protection equipment, company-training practices and site-specific hazards. If your employees are prepared for these interviews and remember they have certain fundamental rights the OSHA inspector may not violate, your company has a much better chance of avoiding costly OSHA citations.

What Will OSHA Ask My Employees?

The OSHA inspector will without hesitation ask your employee if they have been trained on fall protection. The inspector will ask very specific questions regarding how the employee was trained, who performed the training and how often this training occurred. Employees need to be prepared to answer these questions, and company training policies should allow the employees to tell the inspector they are frequently trained by the company’s safety director or a third-party safety consultant. The employee should also be able to tell the inspector that he or she was trained once upon hire and retraining occurs at least once a year. Additionally, the employee will need to advise the inspector about any videos or lectures they are required to attend to complete the company’s training program. It will further support your defense if the employee notifies the inspector about any weekly toolbox talks or routine safety meetings they are made to attend at specific jobs.

All roofers should also be able to recite OSHA’s fall-protection standard. This has become a major source of citations in recent months and is easily preventable if employees are prepared for the OSHA interview. The employees must report to the OSHA inspector they are fully aware of OSHA’s regulation requiring the use of fall protection at heights of 6 feet or more above a lower level. It is not necessary for employees to identify the exact provision within the Code of Federal Regulations, but they must be able to tell the inspector they are trained to recall that regulations exist that require all employees working on a surface with unprotected sides and edges at 6 feet or more above a lower level be protected from falling by the use of a fall-protection system. The magic words required to support your company’s defense against this type of citation are 6 feet. The employee must tell the inspector they always wear fall protection when working at a height of 6 feet or more.

Another favorite interview tactic of the OSHA inspector is to question an employee on the dangers of a fall. Often times this question is so alarmingly simple roofers have trouble giving OSHA the correct answer. If OSHA asks employees if they are aware of what happens if someone falls from a roof, the best possible answer will always be to inform the inspector they have been trained to recognize death or serious injury can occur from a fall. If an employee makes the mistake of reporting to the inspector that falls are not always dangerous or that roofers can some-times survive a fall, there is a strong chance the company will be cited for an inability to properly train employee on the hazards associated with a fall.

OSHA inspectors also prefer to ask employees if all falls are preventable. Most roofers would immediately reply that falls are preventable but construction is a dangerous and high-risk profession. This is not the answer your employees should provide to OSHA. The administration wants to know your employees are trained to recognize the fact that all falls are preventable. An employee should never tell OSHA that injuries are an unpreventable reality on a construction site. If OSHA inspectors ask your employees if falls are preventable, the answer should always be to inform the inspector that all falls are 100 percent preventable.

Must My Employees Speak to the Inspector?

OSHA has what is referred to as administrative probable cause. This gives OSHA the legal right to enter your job site and begin an inspection. OSHA’s powers essentially allow the administration to conduct inspections at almost any active place of employment. However, these powers do not give OSHA inspectors the right to detain or hold anyone for questioning against their will. The employees’ participation in the OSHA inspection process is completely voluntary. An employee may, under their own free will, choose to speak to the inspector, or the employee may choose not to speak to the inspector. It is very important to remember that an employer must never instruct, order or command an employee not to speak with OSHA inspectors when they arrive onsite. However, the employer has the right to educate his or her employees that no one is required to speak with OSHA if they elect not to.

How Long Can the Inspector Speak to My Employees?

If your employees voluntarily choose to speak to the inspector, the interviews must be completed within a reasonable amount of time. The Occupational Safety and Health Act states the interviews are to be completed in a reasonable manner. Additionally, OSHA’s Field Operations Manual conditions that interviews are to be as brief as possible. With such open time limitations, there have been varying arguments by OSHA and employers as to exactly how long an OSHA inspector may speak with an employee. It is traditionally accepted OSHA may take no longer than five to 10 minutes for field interviews with company employees. This amount of time can be less or more, depending on the type of investigation, knowledge of the employee, or if the inspection involves any injuries or fatalities. It is highly recommended the employees know their rights before speaking with the inspector. These rights include the employee’s ability to stop the interview at any time if he or she feels uncomfortable or believes the interview has gone on too long.

Can Our Company Attorney Be Present?

In almost all investigations, non-supervisory employees must speak to the inspector without the assistance of counsel. Supervisors, crew leaders and foremen are all entitled to an attorney during their interview because of the supervisory nature of their position. Administrative case law has held that any employee who has been granted authority over other employees is considered a supervisor. This authority has been defined as any time an employee is granted the ability to control the method and manner in which he or she performs assigned tasks. Employees who are not given supervisory responsibility and who do not have the ability to control the method and manner of the assigned work may speak to the inspector in private. However, always recall the interview process is entirely voluntary and the employee may request a company representative attend the interview with them. This is very important and is often overlooked by companies during OSHA inspections. If the employee specifically and voluntarily requests the interview take place with a supervisor or attorney present, the OSHA inspector must submit to the employee’s wishes.

How Should an Employee Handle Questions Regarding Training?

Company safety policies and training programs should be comprehensive and effective at all times. These training sessions, retraining classes and field safety exercises should result in a roofing crew that can recognize all hazards relating to our industry. The employees should be trained on each and every safety protocol to prevent against these hazards. If company training programs address all these issues, the employee will have no problem informing OSHA he or she has been trained on all relevant safety regulations. An employer is almost guaranteed an automatic citation if an employee simply concedes to an inspector that he or she has never received training in an area of roofing safety.

Inspectors will ask employees very complicated and confusing questions on a job site. This has been a major factor in recent citations and has resulted in significant penalties against roofers across the nation. For example, inspectors will often use technical or scientific language in an attempt to confuse a roofing employee to the point where the roofer acknowledges he or she has never heard of such terms. This sort of behavior from OSHA inspectors should not be tolerated if your employees are properly educated and prepared for OSHA interviews. An employee should not be coerced into telling an inspector they have not been trained or do not recognize a specific safety hazard. Instead, the employee should inform the inspector the company’s training program includes all hazards a roofer could face on a job, and if the employee is ever unsure of how to handle a specific safety issue, he or she need only refer to the company safety manual, which is always on the job site in every company vehicle.

When OSHA arrives at your next project, remember the roofing contractor who has properly prepared his or her employees for OSHA interviews will prevail. Today’s contractors must consistently defend their companies against OSHA and the federal government’s increasing involvement in the construction industry. However, a well-educated crew who has been informed of their rights with regard to the OSHA interview process can make all the difference when defending your company against an OSHA citation.