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September 17, 2013
California talking--and acting--tough on roofing safety

The state of California has launched a multiagency group to enforce safety and labor standards around roofing. Keep reading to find out what this will mean for California roofers and contractors.

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According to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), there were 367 roofing-related falls from scaffolds, ladders, elevations, etc., in the state from 2008 to 2010. These preventable incidents carried a price tag of more than $70 million.

The Roofing Compliance Working Group (RCWG) includes Cal/OSHA and the office of the labor commissioner, as well as industry groups, university-based safety programs, and labor organizations.

The purpose of the group is to ensure compliance and understanding of industry-specific workplace safety laws. RCWG’s objectives include rapid response to complaints of safety hazards in the roofing industry, as well as investigation of complaints related to workers’ compensation and payroll issues.

RCWG will develop outreach and educational materials for roofing businesses and employees.

When it comes to roofing safety, what does Cal/OSHA require?

Falls are the most common roofing accident, and they are likely to cause the most serious injuries. About 30 percent of injuries to roofers are a result of falls or slips.

Cal/OSHA requires that employers provide training—and document that training—to employees to ensure specific awareness of roofing fall hazards. Other recommended safe work practices include:

  • Keep the work area free of trash and equipment;
  • Store material neatly and away from roof edges; and
  • Cover or barricade skylights and other roof openings.

Specific roofing regulations can be found in sections 1730 and 1731 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations. Cal/OSHA says that following the rules will help avoid many falls and resulting injuries.

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