Denver-area residential roofing contractors are failing to provide necessary
fall safety protection to workers
OSHA working with various organizations to keep workers safe and educate consumers
DENVER – The residential roofing industry in Denver and area communities, including Pueblo and Colorado Springs, is being cited in record numbers for failing to keep workers safe by providing necessary fall prevention equipment and training. In addition to its own outreach effort on fall prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is teaming up with various organizations, including the Colorado Roofing Association and the Better Business Bureau.
"In the past six months, we have received 63 complaints related to unsafe work practices, and this is the beginning of the roofing season. The cost of providing fall prevention equipment is nominal compared with the cost of a senseless loss of life and livelihood," said David Nelson, OSHA's area director in Englewood. "Falls from heights of 6 to 15 feet accounted for 24 percent of all fatal falls in 2012."
To prevent these injuries and fatalities through education and outreach, OSHA launched the 2014 National Safety Stand-Down, which was held June 2-6. An estimated 1 million workers and 25,000 businesses, including construction industry leaders, put a halt to their work for one hour during that week to discuss the importance of recognizing fall hazards and implementing fall safety measures.
Consumers seeking to hire reputable and safety conscious roofing companies should visit the Colorado Roofing Association website at http://www.coloradoroofing.org/ for tips on locating a quality contractor. To file a complaint or research complaints filed against a roofing contractor, consumers can go to the Better Business Bureau's website at http://www.bbb.org/. The establishment search on the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.html provides consumers with information on contractors that have been cited for safety and health violations.
"Consumers should be aware that, in many cases, the contractor they sign an agreement with is not necessarily the contractor installing the roof. Many roofing companies are using a different name with a higher Better Business Bureau rating to get the job, but have no roofers to do the install," said Nelson. "Consumers need to ask questions, such as: Are the installers your employees or subcontractors? Are they insured? What is their past work history? How will the project be managed? What kind of fall protection will be used? Hold your contractors accountable. The last thing a consumer wants is someone falling, especially on their property."
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742), for southern Colorado the agency's Englewood Area Office at 303-843-4500, and for northern Colorado the agency's Denver Area Office at 303-844-5285.
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 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 http://www.osha.gov.
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