Stress-related sleep problems may put migrant roofers in danger

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Photo: fantom_rd/iStockphoto

Houston — Migrant roofing workers are more likely to experience poor sleep quality, which may put them at increased risk of injury, Rice University researchers say.

A team analyzed surveys and in-depth interviews with more than 400 migrant roofers who work in communities impacted by natural disasters.

The researchers identified numerous factors that contributed to shorter sleep duration, restlessness and general sleep problems among migrant roofers. Factors included stress related to working fewer days per month, being out of work, and lacking legal authorization to work. Additionally, workers who lived in temporary housing were shown to be at greater risk of poor sleep quality than roofers who had permanent housing.

In a press release, Sergio Chavez, study lead author and Rice University associate professor of sociology, said a lack of sleep can add to the danger of what is already “harrowing” work.

“Migrant workers form part of a growing occupational group that rebuilds in the aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes,” the researchers write in the study. “The work these migrant workers perform is essential but also unstable, exploitative and dangerous, which stresses their health and well-being.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

CPWR publishes tip sheets on preventing roofer falls

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Photo: CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training

Silver Spring, MD — Two new resources from CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training are intended to help prevent falls among roofing workers.

In “Roofing Safety for Construction Workers,” available in English and Spanish, CPWR cites Bureau of Labor Statistics data showing that 1 out of 10 fatal slips, trips and falls involve roofers – 3 out of 5 of whom are Hispanic.

The organization calls on employers to:

  • Eliminate or minimize fall hazards during job planning, when possible.
  • Provide workers with proper tools and safety equipment to safely complete tasks.
  • Train workers on inspection and use of safety equipment in a language they understand.
  • Enforce safety regulations.
  • Regularly review work practices that help prevent falls.

An additional CPWR fact sheet – Roof Safety: Weather to Work? – provides guidance on working safely in inclement weather. Tips include:

  • Ensure workers are trained on fall protection and wearing proper personal protective equipment.
  • Monitor weather conditions before work and throughout the day.
  • Inspect the roof for icy, wet or slippery conditions before work starts.
  • Have a plan to provide workers with cover from lightning.
  • Find a stable, nonslippery surface to set up and secure a ladder.

A Spanish version of the weather-related resource is in development, CPWR says.


McCraren Compliance offers a full range of safety and health training and consulting services. Plus we can help you incorporate well-being into your traditional systems in order to support the Total Worker Health of your workforce.

Call 888-758-4757, email info@mccrarencompliance.com or visit our website www.mccrarencompliance.com

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

New poster: OSHA requirements for mechanical service and construction work on low-slope roofs

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Photo: Mechanical Contractors Association of America

Rockville, MD — OSHA requirements for mechanical service and mechanical construction on low-slope roofs – and the differences between them – are the topic of a new poster from the Mechanical Contractors Association of America.

Mechanical service is covered under OSHA’s general industry standards (1910), while mechanical construction is covered under the agency’s construction standards (1926).

According to MCAA, OSHA’s position on mechanical service is that the work “does not meet the definition of ‘temporary and infrequent’ if the job task takes longer than it would to install or set up fall protection, and the task is performed more than once a month, once a year or when needed.”

On the poster, MCA says it’s “working to establish a reasonable interpretation of the standard.”

For mechanical construction, workers must use fall prevention systems or fall protection when working 6 feet or more above a lower level. No safe distance exists for a worker to perform tasks without fall protection on a low-slope roof in this situation. (One exception involving a 15-foot or longer warning line is detailed in the poster.)

MCAA represents around 2,600 companies involved in heating, ventilating and air conditioning; refrigeration; plumbing; piping; and mechanical service.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

US Department of Labor finds Illinois contractor exposed roofing workers to deadly fall hazards twice in 10 days at separate job sites

First published by OSHA

Joshua Herion ignores OSHA safety rules, faces $360K in penalties

WAUKEGAN, IL – A Waukegan contractor – with a history of violating federal safety standards and ignoring safety citations – was cited again by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing workers to deadly fall hazards at two separate job sites in October 2021. Joshua Herion – who does business as ECS Roofing Professionals Inc. – faces proposed penalties of $360,531.

A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspector observed a foreman and two roofers atop a Hoffman Estates commercial building working at heights of up to 20 feet off the ground with inadequate fall protection. Just 10 days later, an OSHA inspector observed a crew of three working at heights greater than 12 feet atop a residential building in Waukesha, Wisconsin, without fall protection equipment.

Falls can be prevented: PLAN ahead to get the job done safely PROVIDE the right equipment TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely

OSHA found ECS Roofing Professionals failed to equip workers with adequate fall protection equipment, train workers on its use, provide safe access to a ladder jack scaffold platform and ensure head and eye protection were used. The agency issued one willful, four repeat and eight serious violations.

“In both of these incidents, the foreman left the site and directed others to do so when OSHA inspectors began asking questions about their safety procedures. This defiant act demonstrates Joshua Herion and his company’s disregard for the safety and well-being of workers and the law,” said OSHA’s Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Des Plaines, Illinois, who investigated the Hoffman Estates job site. “Fall hazards make roofing work among the construction industry’s most dangerous jobs and among OSHA’s most frequently cited safety hazards.”

The pair of recent inspections continues the company’s history of failing to protect its roofing workers. Since 2014, ECS Roofing Professionals has been cited seven times by OSHA for similar hazards at other job sites. The employer has failed to respond to OSHA’s requests for information, has not responded to citations from previous inspections and has had $139,656 in unpaid OSHA penalties referred to debt collection.

“While ECS Roofing Professionals seem willing to ignore the dangers of falls and the potential for serious injuries or worse, OSHA will hold Joshua Herion and other roofing contractors accountable for failing to meet the legal requirements to provide safe working conditions,” said OSHA’s Area Director Christine Zortman in Milwaukee, who investigated the Waukesha job site. “Fall injuries and fatalities are preventable with the proper use of safety equipment and training.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, 1,008 construction workers died on the job, with 351 of those fatalities due to falls from elevation.

OSHA’s stop falls website offers safety information and video presentations in English and Spanish to teach workers about hazards and proper safety procedures. Learn more about OSHA’s annual National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls, set for May 2-6.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties for the Hoffman Estates site and the Waukesha site to comply, request an informal conference with each of OSHA’s area directors, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.


McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

‘No two roofs are basically alike’: CPWR hosts webinar on fall protection

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Photo: nycshooter/iStockphoto

Silver Spring, MD — Roofers face an increased risk of fatal falls to a lower level compared with other construction subgroups, making fall protection strategies a vital component of roof work planning and training.

That was the message of an April 16 webinar hosted by CPWR – The Center for Construction Research and Training in conjunction with the National Roofing Contractors Association.

Multiple NRCA officials spotlighted basics of fall prevention and protection. “Of course, the challenge with roofing is that no two roofs are basically alike,” said Thomas Shanahan, the association’s vice president of enterprise risk management and executive education. “It’s a very dynamic versus static workplace, so it’s always changing, and so we have to be ever mindful of what are our options – what are the things we can be doing to protect workers so we plan for that.”

According to CPWR research released in 2019, although roofers experienced fewer fatal falls in 2017, the rate of fatal falls within the subgroup stood at 35.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers – more than 10 times greater than the rate of all construction occupations combined.

The speakers highlighted the National Campaign to Prevent Falls in Construction – a joint effort of NIOSH, OSHA and CPWR – which offers three core steps to preventing falls:

  • Plan ahead to get the job done safely
  • Provide the right equipment
  • Train everyone to use the equipment safely

In the event of a fall, Rich Trewyn, director of enterprise risk management at NRCA, said the two basic elements of rescue are delaying orthostatic shock while suspended, also known as suspension trauma, and bringing the fallen worker to a support surface such as the ground or roof. Carefully handle the fallen worker to ensure he or she is in a comfortable position, and call 911.

“All of this rescue portion is all about preplanning, and planning for an event that really isn’t going to be easy to plan for,” Trewyn said. “But it’s something that we can do, it’s something that we can practice for and make sure that we’re training our employees in the proper way.”

In the introduction to the webinar, Scott Ketcham, director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, discussed the agency’s efforts to mitigate “Construction Focus Four” hazards: caught-in or caught-between incidents, electrocution, falls, and struck-by incidents.

Citing data from the OSHA Information System database, Ketcham also displayed the agency’s “Top 10” list of most cited standards for construction for fiscal year 2019, noting that six involved an element of fall protection. Fall Protection – General Requirements (1926.501) topped the list with 6,881 violations, while Fall Protection – Training Requirements (1926.503) ranked fourth with 2,015.

With OSHA recently deciding to postpone the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ketcham gave updates on other planned outreach events in which the agency is involved. The Heat Illness Prevention campaign is on for the spring and summer; the Trench Safety Stand-Down remains “tentatively” scheduled for June 15-19; and Safe + Sound Week, slated for Aug. 10-16, is set to proceed as scheduled.