OSHA Announces New Safety Guidelines for Commercial Roof Inspections
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW OSHA GUIDELINES TO IMPACT
THE INSPECTION AND REPAIR OF COMMERCIAL ROOFS
BOULDER, Colo. (Feb. 23, 2018) – The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ruled that, effective November 2017, all commercial roofs need top ridge anchors installed that inspectors and contractors can attach safety cords to so they can walk and inspect roofs and perform repairs or replacements of roofing materials.
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How these new OSHA requirements will affect home and/or commercial property inspectors (or roof installers) will depend on local building codes, which may need updating as a result of these new rules. Any home inspector who chooses to walk a commercial roof will need to use roof anchors and safety cords or a fall-arrest system in order to be in compliance.
As to how these anchors should be installed, or whether they'll be required when installing a new roof on a commercial building (including multi-unit housing) or a single-family home, remains to be seen. In one community in Kansas, the HOA president discussed with his board how the gutter-cleaning company they contract with will require roof anchors to tie down their equipment, and that the HOA will have to pay for and install them so that the cleaning company can perform their maintenance duties safely.
If you offer commercial property inspections as part of your services and you inspect commercial roofs, be sure to discuss this with your E&O and GL insurance broker, as damage and/or injuries resulting from non-compliance with OSHA's new safety rules may affect you in terms of coverage and liability.
InterNACHI® will keep its membership posted with further developments.
Special thanks to retired InterNACHI® member Gary Farnsworth for bringing this to our attention.