New Safety Helmets Designed for Comfort and Protection

Malta Dynamics announces the release of its new safety helmets, which feature an innovative design that aims to maximize both safety and comfort on the jobsite. The new Malta Dynamics Safety Helmets meet ANSI Z89.1-2014 Type 1 Class C standards and can optionally come equipped with an attached clear or tinted visor.

The Malta Dynamics Safety Helmet features sliding adjustable vents to help with air circulation. The helmet’s six-point suspension system and adjustable chin strap improve comfort and provide greater protection in the event of an impact or fall. The low-profile design allows a more secure fit that sits lower on the crown of your head, which provides better coverage and makes wearing the helmet more comfortable than a higher-profile sitting hard hat.

“We’re excited to introduce our new safety helmet that offers a fantastic mix of protection and comfort,” says Damian Lang, owner and CEO of Malta Dynamics. “Because we use these products ourselves, we know how important it is for PPE to fit comfortably when you wear it around a jobsite all day. Workers have to be comfortable wearing it so that they keep it on at all times and are protected when they need it.”

For more information, visit maltadynamics.com.

Reusable Parapet Anchors

Malta Dynamics introduces its reusable parapet anchor, designed specifically for flat roofs surrounded by parapet walls. These parapet anchors are fully adjustable and can be installed on wall thicknesses from 2.36 inches all the way up to 14.1 inches. Parapet walls must be at least 9 inches high to install this anchor, which supports workers up to 310 pounds.

This anchorage device is non-penetrating and requires no tools to install. The dual tightening handles allow for even force distribution, and rubber protective pads eliminate damage to the parapet wall.

“Our parapet anchors are so easy to install, you can be up and running in just a few minutes,” said Damian Lang, owner and CEO of Malta Dynamics. “They provide a great cost savings because these reusable anchor points can be transferred from one jobsite to another.”

For more information, visit www.maltadynamics.com

Swivel Metal Roof Anchor

Dynamic Fastener offers a swivel metal roof anchor for use with lifelines, rope/cable grabs or retractors. It offers continuous protection and freedom of movement with the 360 degree swivel and 180-plus degree flip movement of the D-ring, keeping the connection point in line with your work. According to the company, the unique design keeps the anchor point above the high point of the panels. The swivel metal roof anchor is designed for temporary or permanent application. It is designed to fit in the valleys of lighter R panels and capture the purlin below. The product is supplied with 14-14 x 11/2 inch T4 fasteners.

For more information, visit www.dynamicfastener.com.

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls Rescheduled for September 14-18

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that the 7th annual National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction has been rescheduled for September 14-18, 2020. While OSHA postponed the event earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the agency continues to encourage employers to promote fall safety virtually or while employing social distancing practices among small groups.

OSHA is partnering with other safety organizations in 2020 to encourage employers to provide safety demonstrations on fall protection equipment, conduct talks regarding fall-related hazards, safety policies, goals and expectations, and promote the event by using the #StandDown4Safety on social media.

“This national initiative brings much needed attention to falls, which continue to be the leading cause of fatalities in construction,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. “Since OSHA began doing fall prevention stand-down events six years ago, nearly 10 million workers have been reached by our message that falls are preventable. These efforts have been successful in raising awareness of the recognition, evaluation, and control of fall hazards.”

Extensive resources are available on OSHA’s Fall Prevention Stand-Down webpage at http://www.osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown and are presented in various languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese. Resources include a brief video entitled “5 Ways to Prevent Workplace Falls,” which encourages employers to educate and train workers on fall protection equipment; a series of fall prevention publications, with an emphasis on construction, and fall prevention videos; OSHA’s Fall Prevention Training Guide, which provides a lesson plan for employers, including several Toolbox Talks; and guidance on ladder and scaffolding safety.

Employers are also encouraged to provide feedback after their events, and obtain a personalized certificate of participation.

The national safety stand-down is part of OSHA’s fall prevention campaign, and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, National Occupational Research Agenda, and The Center for Construction Research and Training.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

Safety Obligations Under the OSH Act Can Extend to Non-Employees and Other Trades

The nature of roofing (particularly re-roofing) frequently involves the presence of non-employees on or around active construction sites. This is true in both the residential and commercial contexts. However, the risk increases significantly on commercial projects, such as retail and mixed-use projects, where many parties can be present, including the property owners’ customers and employees, as well as other trades working at the project simultaneously.

As such, it is essential that roofing contractors understand the scope of their obligations to non-employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act). While accidents and injuries can certainly trigger an investigation by OSHA, employers are frequently charged with violations of the OSH Act for merely failing to implement appropriate procedures. Not to be taken lightly, OSHA citations carry significant consequences, including penalties of up to $134,937 per violation, as well as creating a stigma against the company and loss of future opportunities. Moreover, company owners may not always be free to “walk away” from these consequences by closing the business (a common misbelief in the industry).

In the OSH Act, Congress authorized the Secretary of Labor to develop safety and health standards (OSHA regulations). One of the most important of these standards to contractors, arguably, is 29 CFR 1910.12, which provides: “Each employer shall protect the employment and places of employment of each of his employees engaged in construction work.” [Emphasis added.] This provision, like OSHA’s general duty clause, seems to imply that OSHA-imposed obligations extend only to an employer’s own employees. However, this is frequently not the case.

For many decades, the phrase “his employees” has been a major point of contention because OSHA has frequently penalized employers for hazards which did not affect the employers’ own employees. While early court decisions initially rejected OSHA’s imposition of liability in these circumstances, the tide eventually shifted, and now the opposite is true. Today, most courts will impose liability under OSHA’s “Multi-Employer Citation Policy” where the contractor “could reasonably be expected to prevent or detect and abate the violations due to its supervisory authority and control over the worksite.” This is true even where the contractor’s own employees were completely unaffected, or even absent when the hazard occurred.

While the borders of OSHA’s policy are unclear and still developing, contractors should at least suspect they may be held responsible for the safety violations at a jobsite if they either: (1) created the hazard; or (2) exercised some degree of control over the subject worksite. With that in mind, roofing contractors can address this risk preemptively by starting with a plan to mitigate hazards and potential liability on their jobsites.

Identifying Risk

One method of doing so is by creating a Jobsite Hazard Analysis (JHA). According to OSHA, a JHA “is a technique that focuses on job tasks as a way to identify hazards before they occur.” By identifying risks, such as exposure of the public and other trades to an active construction site, roofing contractors can implement effective measures to mitigate known hazards.

While planning requirements will vary by jobsite, most roofing contractors’ JHA should address the following questions on this topic:

  • Will non-employees be present at the worksite during active construction? Could they gain access without the company’s knowledge or consent?
  • Can measures be taken to reduce or eliminate access to the worksite by non-employees?
  • What types of hazards could non-employees be exposed to? (e.g.,falling debris)
  • What steps will the company take to reduce or eliminate risks to non-employees?

In addition to addressing these risks in company policies, such as JHAs and a safety manual, it is also prudent to include provisions in the company’s contract which seek to limit exposure of non-employees to hazards. For example, the roofing contractor could include a provision in the contract which forbids the property owner’s employees from using certain entrances to the building during specific phases of construction. Roofing contractors may also seek indemnification from owners for claims of third parties based upon third parties’ failure to comply with contractual requirements. 

Under any circumstances, roofing contractors should take a preemptive approach to hazards, understanding the adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” is especially true in their industry. The first step in this process is assessing and appreciating the risks that safety hazards present. The second is implementing proactive safety policies which seek to eliminate or reduce those risks.

About the author: Travis S. McConnell is a construction law attorney with Cotney Construction Law, LLP. McConnell’s legal practice focuses on all aspects of construction law. He works extensively on matters relating to OSHA defense, which includes the management and development of safety and health strategies for construction contractors across the United States. McConnell’s OSHA practice concentrates on litigation and the appeals of citations involving catastrophic construction related accidents. He can be contacted by email at tmcconnell@CotneyCL.com.

New Line of ANSI-Rated Safety Helmets

Protecting workers on the job from potential head injuries is vital to most workforce safety plans. Whether you’re restoring power at great heights or working daily on the construction site, you rely on your safety helmet to keep you safe while on the job. The new line of Ridgeline XR7 Safety Helmets from Pyramex Safety is the company’s latest addition to its trusted Ridgeline series, incorporating expertly designed features like a comfortable breakaway chin strap which secures the hat and offers protection from strangulation should a major fall occur, as well as the ability to attach earmuff and face shield accessories to adapt to the needs of any work environment.

The new Ridgeline XR7 Safety Helmet is constructed of ABS/PC material that’s not only ultra-lightweight, it offers superior strength and increased heat resistance. It’s easy to adjust with a 6-point ratchet suspension system ensuring a personalized fit. A soft four-point PU breakaway chin strap ensures all-day wearing comfort while keeping the helmet securely fastened. Removal is simple with a quick release of the breakaway clip. Easily adjust height and angle options for the suspension, as well as adjust it from 6-1/2 to 8 head size via an easy to grasp knob to help you find the most comfortable position on your head.

The Ridgeline XR7 meets ANSI Z89.1-2014 Type I, Class E and CE EN 397:2012 +A1:2012 safety standards, so wearers can be confident they are well protected while on the job. Safety helmet adapter, earmuff and face shield accessories are also available (sold separately) to customize the Ridgeline XR7 and adapt to individual working conditions. The Ridgeline XR7 is available in a wide variety of colors including: White, Slate Gray, Black Graphite, Yellow, Hi-vis Lime and Blue. Custom imprinting is also available.

For more information, visit www.pyramexsafety.com.

Skylight Fall Protection System

Dynamic Fastener offers fall protection systems for flat and domed skylights. Ideal for R-panel, standing seam, or curb mount skylights, the system utilizes an OSHA-compliant galvanized steel safety screen with a maximum 4-inch-by-4-inch opening. The screen is secured with zinc-coated carbon steel clips and long-life, self-drilling fasteners. All of the required mounting hardware and supports are included in the kit for a complete installation. 

According to the manufacturer, all systems are factory-sized to install quickly. Roof-mounted models maintain a low profile to create a clean and finished look. Curb-mount applications are hidden beneath the domed skylight. The system can be custom painted to match the building’s exterior.

 For more information, visit www.dynamicfastener.com.

Interesting Times

“Stay safe.”

“Take care.”

“Hope you are healthy and safe.”

Work correspondence has taken on a different tone in the last couple of months as events have been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s touching. People have been so kind in their responses. It puts me in mind of the gruff but friendly desk sergeant in the 1980s TV series “Hill Street Blues,” who would end every pre-shift meeting — no matter how chaotic — with this reminder: “Let’s be careful out there.”

When I emailed safety expert Richard Hawk to thank him for his column in our last issue, he responded, “There is a centuries old Asian saying that is both a blessing and a curse: ‘May you live in interesting times.’ It fits now, huh?” 

It does. The business landscape and most work environments are changing rapidly. In this issue you’ll see case studies and technical columns, as well as several articles geared specifically to coping with the coronavirus pandemic as the roofing industry continues to fulfill its indispensable role in maintaining our infrastructure.

This issue contains advice for employers coping with the fallout of COVID-19 from Benjamin Briggs and Elliot Haney at Cotney Construction Law. You’ll find tips from contractors like Ken Kelly of Kelly Roofing and Steve Little of KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, who had to come up with creative solutions to meet new jobsite regulations and keep business flowing. You’ll also see the story of a roofing manufacturer that found a way to help meet critical shortages of medical personal protective equipment.

Duro-Last CEO Tom Saeli told me how a team of employees at Duro-Last came up with the idea to use the company’s materials and equipment to make medical gowns and masks for area hospitals. He also assured me his company was doing all it could to ensure employees manufactured the equipment safely — including maintaining social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting the plant and equipment, providing masks and face shields, and taking everyone’s temperature.

At Roofing, we are committed to maintaining our role as “the industry’s voice” through our glossy print issue and digital edition, as well as our website and e-newsletter. Tom Saeli noted Duro-Last was sharing its story in the hopes that it would inspire others to help. If you have a story you’d like to share, please let us know.

And hey — let’s be careful out there.

New Utility Tray Accessory for Platform Material Hoist

Safety Hoist Company introduces The Utility Tray XL. Easily installed on the EH-500 and HD-400 hoist models, the newly designed Utility Tray is manufactured for versatility. The pre-assembled tray is a steel fabrication and measures 44 inches wide by 25 inches deep and 12 inches high. The Utility Tray includes two Deck Extenders, which expand the carriage width to 45 inches, allowing greater support for rolled goods. Using the Utility Tray XL, contractors cab safely lift items such as tiles, buckets, tools, HVAC units and other construction materials.

For more information, visit www.safetyhoistcompany.com.

Temporary Anchor Point Is Easy to Install, Won’t Damage Metal Roofs

Metal Plus, LLC introduces the Universal Safety Anchor (USA), a temporary anchor point with a unique hinge-system designed to accommodate most panels without any loose components. According to the manufacturer, the Universal Safety Anchor is easy to install: just open, close, and torque. It requires no adjusting of set screws.

The patented Universal Safety Anchor was designed to eliminate problems including damage to metal panels from set screws, rusting of panels when anchor points are removed, and voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.

For more information, visit www.metalplusllc.com.