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Removing snow from rooftops on municipal and state properties must be done safely to protect workers from injury.

After excessive snowfalls like we have seen, the weight of the snow could impact the structural integrity of roofs and can be a cause for concern.  Workers assigned to remove snow from rooftops are at high risk of injury from falling off the roof edge or falling through skylights. Employers must plan ahead to protect all workers removing snow on rooftops.

man cleaning snowHere are some tips for preventing worker injury:
• Use snow removal methods that do not involve workers going onto roofs, when possible.
• Provide Fall Protection equipment to workers who go onto roofs such as full body harnesses, shock-absorbing lanyards, lifelines, and engineered anchor points.
• Guard skylights, so workers do not fall through.
• Mark skylights, roof drains, and vents that could trip workers.
• Avoid contact with electrical power lines. Keep ladders, aerial lifts and workers at least 10 feet away from power lines.
• Evaluate weight load exerted on roof to ensure the roof can support the workers and equipment.
• Train workers to use Fall Protection harness, lifelines and anchor points correctly.
For more information about this topic, please visit: http://www.mass.gov/lwd/labor-standards/dls/snow-removal-flyer.pdf

And remember that workers who are working outdoors do face acute safety risks due to prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.
Learn how to protect these workers.
Keep warm and stay safe. MassSafetyWorks!

Written By:


Director of the Department of Labor Standards

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