Hazard Alert Regarding Snow Removal

As we post this, the Twin Cities are getting their first serious dose of snow so it is not hard to think about snow removal from rooftops.  This is a serious hazard.  Here is an OSHA Hazard Alert on the subject.

OSHA Alerts Workers to Falls and Other Hazards When Removing Snow From Rooftops

A new OSHA hazard alert warns workers of falls and other hazards that every year result in deaths and serious injuries during snow or ice removal from rooftops and elevated surfaces. Workers are at risk for falling off roof edges, through skylights, and from ladders and aerial lifts. Workers may also be injured or killed by a roof collapse. The alert provides methods for preventing these hazards, such as using snow removal methods that do not involve workers going on roofs, evaluating the maximum weight a roof or structure can bear, requiring that workers use fall protection equipment, and ensuring that workers use ladders and aerial lifts safely. Other hazards include injuries associated with the use of snow blowers and other mechanized equipment, entrapment and suffocation under falling snow drifts or snow piles, shock/electrocution hazards from contacting power lines or damaged extension cords, frostbite or hypothermia from cold and windy conditions and musculoskeletal injuries from overexertion.

OSHA also has created a Winter Storms Web page to provide information on protecting workers from hazards during winter storm response and recovery operations.

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