Severe injuries and deaths occur on construction sites in Irvine and across California each year. A significant percentage of those falls occur during roof work. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health provides safety guidelines and regulations that make such injuries and deaths preventable.
Mitigating construction site hazards starts with safety training and site meetings before each work shift. Changing environmental conditions could give rise to unanticipated dangers overnight. Pre-shift safety precautions include the following:
- Inspect each worker’s fall protection equipment to identify wear and tear and other damage.
- Ensure the safety quality of the ladders and the stability of the surfaces that support them.
- Reiterate the importance of three-point contact on ladders.
- Ensure rooftops are free of trip hazards, and skylights and other openings are guarded.
- Remind workers of heat-related hazards and the importance of looking out for symptoms in each other.
- Ensure workers have access to adequate water and shade.
Mitigation of safety hazards
- Neglecting to take the following precautions could have devastating consequences:
- Keep adequate clear areas near power lines to avoid electrocution.
- Avoid working on roofs in adverse weather like heavy winds, snow and rain.
- Do not lose sight of risks like falling from roofs, ladders, scaffolding and parapet walls.
- Avoid sitting or standing on skylight covers and establish safe zones around roof openings.
Construction workers in California might find comfort in knowing the state-regulated workers’ compensation program will have their backs in the event of a construction site accident. However, falls from roofs and ladders could cause life-changing injuries like spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injuries, preventing them from returning to work and enjoying life as before.