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eTools Home :Hurricane eMatrix Credits
 
Building Assessment, Restoration, and Demolition
Roof Inspection, Tarping, and Repair
List of Activity Sheets
    Photo courtesy of FEMA.  This picture shows actual disaster site work conditions and may not illustrate proper safety and health procedures.
Activity Description
  • The hazards outlined in this activity sheet apply to experienced inspectors and construction workers performing roofing work (removal, repair, or installation of roofing materials such as shingles, tile, and tar paper). For some operations or situations, other activity sheets also apply; see related activity sheets below. The hazards outlined in this activity sheet also apply to personnel installing plastic sheeting/tarps on roofs or sections of roofs damaged (e.g., blown away, punctured) by high winds from hurricanes or tornados.
  • High winds damaged roofs in all regions impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005). Each damaged roof must be inspected and then either repaired or replaced to prevent further damage to the structure. This activity is a routine part of recovery from any natural disaster involving high winds.
  • Plastic sheeting is often installed to temporarily patch roofs when permanent repairs cannot be made immediately. During the first 100 days following Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers oversaw the installation of blue plastic sheeting/tarps on over 107,000 roofs. This specialized and focused work is often done quickly to minimize damage to the structure and its contents.
  • Subsequent activities can involve replacing a few tiles, recovering the entire roof, or completely rebuilding the roof deck and everything above it.
  • Roof inspection, repair, and replacement generally require workers to mount ladders or scaffolding to reach the roof. Once they are on the elevated surfaces, they handle materials and operate nail guns or power tools. They might also use saws or pruning shears to size the furring strips typically used to secure tarps. Depending upon the roof and roofing material, the surfaces can be steep, slippery, and/or deteriorating. Any work on roofs typically must be performed in full sun and near the utility/power lines attached to the structure.
  • Roofing materials used for hurricane recovery activities vary by type of structure and the extent of the damage. Activities can involve plastic sheeting, asphalt shingles, tar paper and tiles.
  • Response and recovery workers conducting this operation may be employed by Federal, State, local, and private employers. Review How to Use This Matrix in the introduction for a discussion of how this information may apply to different workers.
Personal fall protection systems are a critical component of protection during installation of roofs. This activity sheet describes the use of two types of personal fall protection systems: 1) fall restraint systems and 2) fall arrest systems. Both types involve a body harness that is connected by a lanyard to an anchor point, but these fall protection systems vary in how they function. With a fall restraint system the length of the lanyard and other system components hold the individual on the roof. Even if he or she trips, the individual cannot drop past the edge of the roof. The more common fall arrest system differs in that it allows the worker a longer lanyard and more freedom of movement, but this means that it could be possible for a falling individual to drop several feet off a roof before being stopped by the system. As a result, the lanyard and anchor for a fall arrest system must include special features. To protect the individual as the lanyard stops the fall, the fall arrest components must be stronger—anchorage points must be able to support 5,000 pounds. The height of the worker, the stretch of the shock absorber and the length of the lanyard must all be taken into consideration when rigging a fall arrest system to prevent a falling individual from hitting the ground or other objects (e.g., vehicles in driveways).

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About the Activity Sheet

This activity sheet does not provide an in-depth analysis of OSHA standards and regulations and cannot address all hazards. It does not increase or diminish any OSHA requirement or employer obligation under those requirements. It is intended as a guide and quick reference for employers and response and recovery workers. The Matrix captures major activities involved in hurricane response and recovery, highlights many of the hazards associated with them, and recommends beneficial work practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other exposure control methods. Employers must evaluate the specific hazards associated with the job/operation at the site where the work is being performed.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their workers. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

The Hazard Exposure and Risk Assessment Matrix for Hurricane Response and Recovery Work provides a general overview of particular topics related to current OSHA standards. It does not alter or determine compliance responsibilities in OSHA standards or the
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, or the equivalent State Plan standards and requirements. Because interpretations and enforcement policy may change over time, you should consult current OSHA/State Plan administrative interpretations and decisions by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and the courts for additional guidance on OSHA compliance requirements. Employers should modify their procedures as appropriate when additional, relevant information becomes available.

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Activity-Specific Sampling and Monitoring Information
  • Photo courtesy of FEMA.  This picture shows actual disaster site work conditions and may not illustrate proper safety and health procedures.Fall protection concerns were found at over three-quarters of the work sites OSHA observed. Safety-monitoring systems were not established and fall protection (harnesses, lanyards, lifelines, connectors, anchorages, and anchorage points) was not used or was used improperly where this equipment was required.
  • Other common concerns included improper use of ladders and scaffolds, PPE issues, and electrocution and shock hazards from power lines and power tools. PPE was either not being worn when needed, or the PPE selected did not provide adequate protection.
  • For safety and health monitoring data and sample results, see the Summary of Activity Sampling Data and Safety and Health Monitoring Information.

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General Recommendations

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices. See general recommendations document.

Personal Protective Equipment. The general PPE is recommended for all response/recovery tasks/operations; only the additional PPE that may be needed for a specific hazard is noted below.

General PPE includes:
  • Hard hat for overhead impact or electrical hazards
  • Eye protection with side shields
  • Gloves chosen for job hazards expected (e.g., heavy-duty leather work gloves for handling debris with sharp edges and/or chemical protective gloves appropriate for chemicals potentially contacted)
  • ANSI-approved protective footwear
  • Respiratory protection as necessary—N, R, or P95, filtering facepieces may be used for nuisance dusts (e.g., dried mud, dirt and silt) and mold (except mold remediation). Filters with a charcoal layer may be used for odors.

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Recommendations Specific to Hazards Associated with Roof Inspection, Tarping, and Repair


FALLS FROM HEIGHTS

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices

During roofing repairs to residential roofing covered by OSHA instruction STD-03-00-001 using plastic sheeting, shingles, tar paper, or tile (Group 4 work)
  • Photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.  This picture shows actual disaster site work conditions and may not illustrate proper safety and health procedures.Limit access/set up controlled access zones
  • Residential Roofs where the fall distance is less than 25 feet measured from the eave to ground level and the roof pitch is less than 8:12:
    • up to 4:12 pitch: use conventional fall protection system, safety monitoring system (monitors and warning lines), or roof slide guards
    • over 4:12 pitch to 8:12 pitch (except for tile): use conventional fall protection system or roof slide guards. (On tile roofs a safety monitoring system may be used)
    • slide guards on roofs with greater than 6:12 pitch should have a maximum of 8 feet spacing
  • Residential roofs where the fall distance is greater than 25 feet (any slope) from eave to ground level or where the roof pitch is greater that 8:12 require the use of a conventional fall protection system
  • Cover or guard holes and openings as soon as they are created. Covers must support two times the weight (body, equipment, materials) that may be imposed. Permanently mark covers over holes "Danger – Roof Opening"
  • When installing plastic sheeting on roofs, permanently mark areas where structural support is inadequate "Danger – No Step"
  • Control access both outside and inside the structure. Keep occupants out of spaces where roofs are being worked overhead
During roofing repairs to roofing other than that covered by OSHA instruction STD-03-00-001
  • Limit access/set up controlled access zones
  • Roofing work on low-slope roofs (slope less than or equal to 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal)) with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels:
    • workers must be protected from falling by guardrail systems, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems, or a combination of warning line system and guardrail system, warning line system and safety net system, or warning line system and personal fall arrest system, or warning line system and safety monitoring system
    • on roofs that are 50 feet or less in width, the use of a safety monitoring system alone is permitted
  • Roofing work on steep pitched roofs (slope greater that 4 in 12 (vertical to horizontal)) with unprotected sides and edges 6 feet or more above lower levels: workers must be protected from falling by guardrail systems with toeboards, safety net systems, or personal fall arrest systems
  • Cover or guard holes and openings as soon as they are created. Covers must support two times the weight (body, equipment, materials) that may be imposed. Permanently mark covers over holes "Danger - Roof Opening"
  • When installing plastic sheeting on roofs, permanently mark areas where structural support is inadequate "Danger - No Step"
  • Control access both outside and inside the structure. Keep occupants out of spaces where roofs are being worked overhead

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Personal fall arrest system including harnesses, lanyards, lifelines, connectors, anchorages, and anchor points (as needed)

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IMPROPER LADDER OR SCAFFOLD USE

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices

  • Inspect ladders for cracked, broken, or defective parts before use
  • Do not exceed the load rating of ladders or scaffolds—remember that load ratings include people, tools, and equipment
  • Set up ladders and scaffolds on stable surfaces
  • Set extension or straight ladders at a 75 degree angle from the ground (1/4 foot back for every foot of rise) and provide 3 feet above an upper landing surface to ease climbing onto/descending from height
  • Use non-conductive ladders (e.g., fiberglass) and exercise extreme caution when working near power lines
  • Secure ladders that can be displaced by work activities; consider barricades at the base to keep traffic away
  • Have a competent person inspect scaffolds before use. A competent person is able to recognize existing and predictable hazardous conditions and has the authority to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazardous conditions
  • Ensure that the scaffold is plumb, and braced and guyed to prevent tipping, swaying, and displacement
  • Ensure that the scaffold is built on base plates and mud sills or other firm foundations. Footings should be able to support the scaffold without settling or moving. Do not use unstable objects to support scaffolds
  • Fully plank each scaffold on all working levels. For wood planking, use wood graded for the intended load
  • Provide guardrails or fall protection systems on platforms 10 feet or higher

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Fall arrest systems on platforms without guardrails 10 feet or higher

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CONTACT WITH DOWNED LINES AND LIVE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • Assume that electrical lines are energized until proven otherwise. Lines and other conductors may become re-energized without warning as utilities are evaluated and restored after a disaster
  • Inspect the work area for downed conductors and do not go near, drive over, or otherwise come in contact with them
  • Downed electrical conductors can energize other objects, including fences, water pipes, bushes, trees, and telephone/CATV/fiber optic cables
  • Unless deenergized and visibly grounded, maintain proper distance from overhead electrical power lines (at least 10 feet) and/or provide insulating barriers

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GENERAL HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATION

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Hearing protection—see Noise hazard
  • When working from an aerial lift, use a body harness that is properly attached (or body belt for tethering or restraint use only) for fall protection

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POWER AND HAND TOOL USE

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • Photo courtesy of FEMA.  This picture shows actual disaster site work conditions and may not illustrate proper safety and health procedures.Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) or double insulated power tools, or implement an assured equipment grounding program
  • Inspect power tool condition (including any cords) and verify operation of safety features before use
  • Do not use equipment that is defective, such as equipment with inoperable safety switches, missing guards, frayed/cut cords etc.
  • Ground power tools properly
  • Avoid standing in wet areas when using portable power tools

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Hearing protection—see Noise hazard
  • Hand protection for cut- and abrasion-control and vibration dampening
  • Eye protection appropriate to the impact hazard

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IMPACT HAZARD FROM NAILS/FLYING OBJECTS

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Eye protection appropriate to the impact hazard

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NOISE

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • Place generators, compressors, and other noisy equipment at a distance or behind a barrier when possible

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Hearing protection when working around potential noise sources and when noise levels exceed 90 dBA. A useful "rule of thumb"-if you cannot hold a conversation in a normal speaking voice with a person who is standing at arms length (approximately 3 feet), the noise level may exceed 90 dBA

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SLIPS, TRIPS, AND FALLS

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • Photo courtesy of FEMA.  This picture shows actual disaster site work conditions and may not illustrate proper safety and health procedures.Select tarps constructed of sheeting that is non-reflective and has a textured surface to reduce slips
  • Watch for tripping hazards from power tools, generators, and compressors used
  • Use caution when walking on tarps; keep surfaces dry; if damp (e.g., from rain, dew or fog) allow them to dry before walking on them
  • See general recommendations document

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Consider the use of flat-soled ANSI-approved slip-resistant safety shoes (e.g., deck shoe or sneaker style) instead of work boots

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MANUAL MATERIAL HANDLING

Photo courtesy of FEMA.  This picture shows actual disaster site work conditions and may not illustrate proper safety and health procedures.Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • For tarps, make sure that the tarp roll is secure before lifting it up onto the roof; consider using more that one person or lifting equipment to lift tarp to the roof, if necessary
  • Take care when unrolling the tarp onto the roof surface
  • See general recommendations document

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CHEMICAL AND MATERIAL STORAGE AND USE

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • Segregate and store incompatible chemicals separately. For example, store solvents and oxidizers (e.g., peroxides) separately, and acids and caustics separately
  • Secure compressed gas cylinders and ensure that they are stored properly when not in use (regulators off and valve caps on when not in use; separate oxygen and fuel gas by 20 feet or using a non-combustible barrier (5 ft high, fire-resistant rating of at least ½ hour))
  • Store chemicals in containers approved and designed for chemical storage and mark all storage locations
  • Store and handle hazardous materials in areas with natural or forced ventilation; do not store or handle in low-lying areas
  • Isolate, secure and identify storage areas
  • Prohibit smoking near storage areas
  • Keep ignition sources at least 25 feet away from storage areas
  • Ensure that fire extinguishers and extinguishing agents are available in the immediate area
  • Bond and ground containers before dispensing flammable liquids.  Reference 29 CFR 1926.152(e)(2)

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Gloves made of material that will protect user from chemicals handled
  • Face shield or goggles with indirect venting. If a face shield is selected, eye protection must be worn under the face shield 
  • Coveralls or apron resistant to chemicals being handled
  • Disposable boot covers resistant to the chemicals being handled
  • A respirator and cartridges specific for chemical, as necessary

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GENERATOR USE

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • Never attach a generator directly to the electrical system of a structure unless a qualified electrician has installed a transfer switch for the generator. If the structure's electrical system is not isolated, it may energize the utility's wiring system for great distances and create a risk of electrocution for utility workers and others in the area
  • Always plug electrical equipment directly into the generator using the manufacturer's supplied cords or grounded (3-pronged) extension cords that are rated for the total anticipated load
  • Do not overload a generator; it can overheat and create a fire hazard
  • Ground and bond generators according to the manufacturer's recommendations; ensure that any manufacturer-required connections are secure before using the generator
  • Keep the generator dry; protect with a canopy if needed; do not use it in wet or rainy conditions
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, and odorless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of the generator's fuel.  CO is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen
  • Never use a generator indoors or in enclosed spaces such as garages and basements; opening windows and doors may not prevent CO from building up in those spaces. Do not use a generator outdoors near doors, windows, and vents that could allow CO to enter
  • Ensure that a generator has 3 to 4 feet of clear space on all sides and above it to ensure adequate ventilation and cooling
  • Before refueling, shut down the generator and allow it to cool

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
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DISCOVERY OF UNKNOWN CHEMICALS

Key Engineering Controls and Work Practices
  • If hazardous chemical containers are found or leaking materials are detected:
    • Do not use spark-producing devices (e.g., engines, tools, electronic, and communications equipment) in the immediate area
    • Take self-protective measures (i.e., move to a safe distance upwind) and contact hazardous material response personnel for evaluation/removal before continuing work in the area

Additional Personal Protective Equipment
  • Evaluate the need to revise protective clothing, respirator, and glove selection

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OTHER POTENTIAL HAZARDS

Select any of the following potential hazards that can be associated with this activity in order to access relevant recommendations in the general recommendations document:
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Additional Medical Needs
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Additional Training Needs
  • Follow general site- and task-specific training guidelines as outlined in the general recommendations document.
  • Train workers who may be exposed to fall hazards to recognize the hazards of falling and to follow the procedures in place to minimize these hazards, as specified in 29 CFR 1926.503.

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Related Activity Sheets
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Other Resources and References
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Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.

*These files are provided for downloading.

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