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Last Post 08/21/2011 10:44 AM by  FloridaBoy
Roof Safety
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calledstrikes
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09/30/2009 9:53 AM

Regarding roof safety, there are OSHA guidelines that I believe state that any roof of a 7/12 pitch or greater requires the use of a harness system. This does not have anything to do with the roof height it is the pitch only.  In many areas throughout the northeast and midwest there are many roofs that are of a 7/12 pitch or greater. 

If you are the employee of an insurance company or adjusting company, non compliance with OSHA regulations may make the company ilabile to heavy fines from the federal government.  If you are an independent contractor/adjuster YOU may be risking heavy fines from the federal government..

Make sure your company or you are aware of the current OSHA regulations for not only roofing but all situations which you may be exposed to head protection, eye protection, use of a respirator mask in possible chemical, bio hazzard (sewage backups), biologicals (mold inspections)???

 

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BobH
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09/30/2009 9:03 PM

This is your first post, welcome to the forum.
You come across with stern warnings via OSHA.
Are you absolutely 100% certain that OSHA regs apply to those inspecting roofs for insurance purposes?

I don't think so.

Do they apply to the guy installing the roof, most definitely. And boy are they ignored by by most of the workers I see (not that it makes it OK to ignore them). Personally I apply safety protocols more than just about anyone I know - so I am not trying to downplay the importance.

We should take precautions because we want to, not out of fear of retribution from an outside agency policing us.
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http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...p_id=10756

• Part Number: 1926
• Part Title: Safety and Health Regulations for Construction
• Subpart: M
• Subpart Title: Fall Protection
• Standard Number: 1926.500
• Title: Scope, application, and definitions applicable to this subpart.

Scope and application.

<!-- 1926.500(a)(1) -->1926.500(a)(1)

This subpart sets forth requirements and criteria for fall protection in construction workplaces covered under 29 CFR part 1926. Exception: The provisions of this subpart do not apply when employees are making an inspection, investigation, or assessment of workplace conditions prior to the actual start of construction work or after all construction work has been completed.
<!-- 1926.500(a)(2) -->
Bob H
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RJortberg
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09/30/2009 11:34 PM

Good work finding that reference Bob. Plus, as it says, this is for "employees". Many, if not most, IAs are independent contractors and not employees. I personally have wondered if OSHA polices or actually has control over independent contractors. In any case, the reason to be safe is for yourself and your family, not for big brother.

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ChuckDeaton
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10/01/2009 7:51 AM
My advice is to take a moment to review the horrible career ending, crippling and life ending accidents suffered by adjusters and reported on this board. Should that review not convince you of the need for the utmost in care and safety then .................................

While working Hurricane Isabel I fell in an insureds flower bed, I was walking to the truck, carrying a big ladder and stepped on a cast iron boot scraper. Those rose bushes were unforgiving and the ladder hit me in the head.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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okclarryd
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10/01/2009 9:38 PM
Sorry to hear about your ladder
Larry D Hardin
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TXAD
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10/04/2009 10:06 PM

Since I've only been licensed for 3 yrs., my only storm experience was Ike.  And I must say that I thouroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  I worked 100 claims, had to re-inspect 1 and handle a supplement on 1 more.  Not bad for a first storm.  The best part of the whole experience was the fact that the Adjuster Co. that I worked for told us point blank..."Don't get on ANY high or steep roofs".  That was music to my ears!  I know that's not the norm, but anytime we had a high/steep situation, we just got with the roofing company and worked it out with them with ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS.  The Adj. Co said they didn't want the liability of any of us falling off a roof.

I'm wondering if this wouldn't be a smarter move by other companies.  We may be IA's, but if they are telling us to get on the roofs, they should, in some part, be liable for injuries.

 

 

BTW,  A BIG Thank-You to BobH.  He helped me out a tremendous amount with Xm8 questions during that storm!    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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ChuckDeaton
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10/05/2009 3:09 PM
TXAD, the neighborly thing to do would be to transfer some dollars to BobH's account. After all he took time from his money making endeavors to help you.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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BobH
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10/05/2009 8:48 PM

No worries, glad to help.
I have been very fortunate to be working this year, and I believe that when you help others - good things happen.
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...I'm wondering if this wouldn't be a smarter move by other companies. We may be IA's, but if they are telling us to get on the roofs, they should, in some part, be liable for injuries.


I'm glad they had that system for you. I have never personally experienced a work environment like that.
If an adjuster doesn't want to get on a high-steep roof and cannot otherwise document the damages & scope the damages then typically the file gets transferred. And that's fine if that is a Win-Win situation.

Visualize hiring a chimney sweep, and you have this bad-assed widow-maker roof they have to scale to get to the chimney. You kind of expect the guy that arrives to be able to do the job, it sort of comes with the territory. Now and then, maybe 10% maybe 20%, maybe more of the roofs that this chimney guy drives up to are going to be a challenge.

The guy is not running a carpet cleaning business, he is putting himself out there as someone who will get up to the top of chimneys so he can clean them.

If you do "daily claims" 90% of the damages will have nothing to do with roofs. It will be failed plumbing, other damage to property.

If you do wind & hail (CAT work) it is the opposite, most of your work will be inspecting & estimating direct physical damage to roofs. Some of them are going to be bad-assed and those adjusters that aren't set up for that will typically have to pass the file on to a whack-o like me...

Bob H
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TXAD
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10/05/2009 10:11 PM
But a really NICE "whack-o".

Oh, btw, your check is in the mail.
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m.enloe
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10/13/2009 10:51 AM

Lots of good advise on here and I have nothing to add other than this..... For anyone still not convinced let me just say that falling hurts. It's not always about dying. I fell 23 feet  (I measured it after I recovered), on to my back but was fortunate to land on soft rain saturated ground. Compression fracture at T-10 and broken wrist . ( Somehow my brain thought my left hand could lessen my impact ). I have been on literally thousands of roofs but this fall came from a tree, duh.. I have only  had what I call a very serious fall  once on a roof where I was actually sliding down a long slope but I was fortunate enough to have a plumbing jack in my path. It was a 9/12 two story  that I was a little to comfortable on. An estimate is not worth dying for and a little fear and preparation is a healthy thing.

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BobH
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10/13/2009 2:00 PM
Posted By m.enloe on 13 Oct 2009 10:51 AM

I have been on literally thousands of roofs but this fall came from a tree, duh.

Glad you survived the fall.  I think that arborists who go up in trees to do pruning & maintenance have a very dangerous job, and their rope work is more "vertical" than what I do on a roof.

Bob H
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calledstrikes
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10/24/2009 9:55 AM

Bob,

 

You may want to check again as the rules have changed, the regs are now for everyone.

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BobH
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10/24/2009 11:42 AM

Why don't you post what you found, or link to the data.

This link to OSHA has not been revised that I can see

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owa...p_id=10756

 

Exception: The provisions of this subpart do not apply when employees are making an inspection, investigation, or assessment of workplace conditions prior to the actual start of construction work
Bob H
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carolcarpenter
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10/24/2009 9:59 PM

Bob, I cannot find the photos.  Carol

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BobH
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10/24/2009 11:46 PM

Hi Carol, there are photos on this other thread http://www.catadjuster.org/Forums/t...fault.aspx
As well as this one
http://www.catadjuster.org/Forums/tabid/60/aff/28/aft/10829/afv/topic/Default.aspx 

Bob H
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rickhans
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10/25/2009 2:58 AM

There is also another exception that probably exempts the adjuster from OSHA compliance. I dealt with this issue on site with an OSHA inspector then looked it up, but don't have a link to it right now.  A self employed "contractor" can not be required to be in OSHA compliance, but if he has employees, he can be held responsible for his employee's safety, but not his own. I was project manager on a remodel job for a homeowner who pulled the permits and paid the subs but the sub was using my lift. His employees were inside the house and not affected. He stepped out on a steep 2nd story 21' high roof to work on a dormer and did not attach a tether to the bucket.  The OSHA inspector saw him do it and told him she was going to fine him until he argued that he is the sub, not an employee. She then told me that she could not fine him because he is only responsible for his employees, but not his own safety.

Since an independent is not supervised nor told how to do the job, I doubt that OSHA could make an IA firm responsible for OSHA compliance, but I have not read the rules for about year.

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insprojohn
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12/24/2009 10:36 PM

I have never fallen off a roof nor have I ever been injured on a roof.  The reasons?

1. Very lucky twice.  While I was on the ladder at the eave circling hail hits I said I need just 1 more hit.  So I climbed on the roof.  Then I said I need just 1,2,3 more hits, etc.  So now I am up on this very steep 11/12 roof only about 10 damn scary feet away from my ladder.  So I try to hold onto the roof but I am still scared to death.  I just stand there staring at my ladder trying to decide if I should call the homeowner to ask them to come out and hold my ladder or not?  That is when a lady across the street volunteers to help me by holding my ladder.  Well that was the first time I got lucky.   I cursed myself for doing that but still did not quite learn my lesson.

2. The second time I was wearing cougar paws but the granules were so slick even with cougar paws you still slid down this roof.   I was very lucky I did not get hurt here.  Though this is when I mage the decision to buy myself a rope gun.  I now own a gun that uses a .22 caliber blank to propel a rope as far as 5 stories high.  I own a rope and harness too.  I do not give a damn what anybody thinks about me.  I will always use my harness and rope when I am scared to go up on a big and steep roof.   Furthermore a Mexican roofer taught me a trick that is better than cougar paws and less expensive!  You can buy cushions similar to those that fit inside a sofa for $35 at ABC Roofing Supply.  They are incredibly good.  Better than cougar paws!  I was on a steep roof measuring with this Mexican roofer and I decided to use his extra cushion and bounce on the roof just like him.  It was great!  Even though I had the cushion I still used cougar paws and a rope.  But the cushion is phenomenol.  If you are ever in a tough spot you might get away without using a rope.  But I still use the rope anyway cause it is the best thing there is.  You will NOT fall off the roof if you have a rope and harness.  You can still get hurt but chances of falling are very slim.

 

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insprojohn
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12/24/2009 10:39 PM

Bob H is not a wacko.  He is smart.  Bob has a lot of excellent roof training and equipment.  That is why he is working, making money and NOT dead.  Be Smart Like Bob!

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BobH
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12/24/2009 11:53 PM
Posted By insprojohn on 24 Dec 2009 10:36 PM

...I just stand there staring at my ladder trying to decide if I should call the homeowner to ask them to come out and hold my ladder or not?  That is when a lady across the street volunteers to help me by holding my ladder.  

Thanks for the kind words John. 

For what it's worth, I get a lot of peace of mind by tying-off my ladder as firmly as I can to the roof.  In 20 years I have never asked anyone to hold my ladder, or felt a need to.  If it isn't anchored pretty well to the roof, then I am not certain it isn't gonna slip sideways when first stepping down on the ladder from the roof. 

Or that a strong gust of wind isn't going to blow it over.  I was on a 2 story roof Tuesday when a very strong storm blew through Arizona where I am working right now, and I think it kept going and hit some of you folks in the central and east areas a day or so later.  I had to go down to the 1st story and shield myself from the wind for a bit.  My ladder would surely have blown over if it wasn't anchored.

My anchor of choice is a nice big fat piece of exposed wood facia:

I use 2 clamps, one on each side of the ladder.

If there is a gutter blocking access to the fascia, I will look for something more solid to clamp to like a rafter if it is exposed:

This is a 6' length of webbing which is the minimum I use for tie-off. An overhand knot at the clamp keeps the webbing from pulling sideways.

I am lucky to be working within 9 hours of where I live, so finally I was able to drive my van out with my own ladders rather than flying out on a moments notice from California and renting something.  My 1 and 2 story ladders have leg-levelers, which also eliminates the feeling that "something isn't quite right" or that someone has to hold the ladder.

And of course you do the proper angle, so you don't feel like you are "falling backward" while climbing.  I don't measure out the "1 foot out per 4 foot height" thing but stick my arms out like the diagram on the ladders tell you to, and for me if the rung at shoulder level is between my palm and knuckles I am good to go.  Your weight climbing the ladder should push it against the eve, and when you get to the eve you tie-off before getting off the ladder.

I was at a place yesterday that seemed to have nothing to tie-off to, then I found a porch column in the back yard and used a long piece of webbing to anchor a ladder rung to the building.  There is always a solution.

Bob H
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BobH
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12/28/2009 1:58 AM

(continued)

If the soffit is boxed in with no exposed rafter tails, I will resort to the gutter nail.  I wrap the webbing around the nail and do an overhand knot so the ladder can't slip from side to side.  Again this is 6' of webbing, if you bring less it will often be too short.

No gutter, no exposed rafter.  There is a clamp on each side of ladder, so if one fails you have some redundancy.

I test the clamp to make sure it is very solid, and not going to just slip off the top of the shingle.  I have even clamped down on old cougar paw pads, watching the clamp bury itself into the foam rubber making sure it is tight, then test it with a tug.

Bob H
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