Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 by Jamie Kirkland
The construction industry accounted for over 1/3 of all work-related deaths in 2013. And yet, the most cited OSHA standard violation in 2018 is still fall protection. Why then do some employers and employees fight to wear protection that can save their lives?
Fall protection has changed over the years. One of the first devices was a safety body belt. However, this belt could also cause spinal and other internal injuries even if saving a life. Equipment advances have allowed more comfortable designs and materials as well as the ability to hold more weight. They have also become more resistant to wear and tear from use and weather. Self-retracting systems help reduce fall distance and sudden stops, reducing the impact on the body. Full-body harnesses and D-ring systems further help to distribute the weight more effectively.
So why is compliance with basic fall protection standards not followed throughout the roofing industry? The “excuses” are many:
“It’s heavy and uncomfortable.”
“It limits my ability to work.”
“It’s too hot.”
“It adds time and no value to the job.”
“I am safe. It won’t happen to me.”
Many companies do not want to spend money on good quality fall arrest equipment and the related training. Some contractors do not provide fall protection equipment at all. Just drive around town, and you will see many other companies up on the roof with no safety lines. But what is the value of a life? Is sacrificing safety worth the cost?
RJK Roofing Solutions invests in our employees and their safety. We will not put profits above the safety of our crew. We invest in quality equipment issued to every employee. We provide consistent safety training at hire, at the start of each year, and every week. Our employees are required to comply with all safety practices as a condition of employment. These practices ensure the protection of our employees and our customers as well. We provide a quality roof along with the safety and the peace of mind that many roofing companies do not offer.
Integrity is what drives us here at RJK Roofing Solutions, not only for you, our customer, but for our employees’ welfare too. That’s why we inspect and replace our equipment as prescribed by the manufacturer. On sloped roofs, our employees wear full-body harnesses and are tied to anchor points. In fall arrest, restraints are secured to the worker’s back with the D-ring system to properly engage in case of a fall. Used properly, the equipment prevents extra slack as well as swing falls.
If you see any roofing contractor that does not wear the proper fall arrest system or does not wear it correctly, do not hire that contractor. Safety, quality and integrity are not foremost for them. Hire the contractor that wants the best quality for you but also the best work conditions for its employees. Call RJK Roofing Solutions today for your peace of mind – for the best in quality AND safety!