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Safety Requirements While Working On Low Slope Roofs, Including The Use Of Designated Areas

Work on Low-Slope Roofs

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The following information involves roofs with slope of 3:12 (14 degrees) or less.

When work is performed less than 6 feet (1.6 m) from the roof edge, the employer must ensure each employee is protected from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system, or personal fall arrest system.

When work is performed at least 6 feet (1.6 m) but less than 15 feet (4.6 m) from the roof edge, the employer must ensure each employee is protected from falling by using a guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system, or personal fall arrest system. The employer may use a designated area when performing work that is both infrequent and temporary.

When work is performed 15 feet (4.6 m) or more from the roof edge, the employer must:

  • Protect each employee from falling by a guardrail system, safety net system, travel restraint system, or personal fall arrest system or a designated area. The employer is not required to provide any fall protection, provided the work is both infrequent and
    temporary; and
  • Implement and enforce a work rule prohibiting employees from going within 15 feet
    (4.6 m) of the roof edge without using fall protection.

Designated Areas

When the employer uses a designated area, the employer must ensure:

  • Employees remain within the designated area while work operations are underway; and
  • The perimeter of the designated area is delineated with a warning line consisting of a rope, wire, tape, or chain that meets the requirements of this section.

Each warning line must have a minimum breaking strength of 200 pounds (0.89 kN). The lowest point of the line must not be less than 34 inches (86 cm) and not more than 39 inches (99 cm) above the walking-working surface. The warning line must be erected not less than:

  • 6 feet (1.8 m) from the roof edge for work that is both temporary and infrequent,
  • 10 feet (3 m) from the perpendicular unprotected edge from mobile mechanical equipment, or
  • 15 feet (4.6 m) for other work.

The warning line must be clearly visible from a distance of 25 feet (7.6 m) away, and anywhere within the designated area.

Covers

The employer must ensure each cover for a hole in a walking-working surface:

  • Is capable of supporting without failure, at least twice the maximum intended load that
    may be imposed on the cover at any one time; and
  • Is secured to prevent accidental displacement.
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