Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Fall Protection Rule for Roofers

Why Fall Protection?

For Roofers – falls are the number one cause of serious physical injury and death. There have been many different opportunities for workers to fall off roofs – be it roof edges, ladders, open holes, sky lights.

Over 70% of deaths in the roofing industry have been caused by falls. These were largely a result of not using any means of fall prevention for workers. 

New Fall Protection Regulations Governing Residential Roofing Contractors go into effect December 15, 2012.

Once a fall begins – it is virtually impossible to stop the fall yourself. It is impossible due to one of the unbending laws of physics – gravity.

Typical human reaction time is about ½ second - even in this short time, the distance and forces accumulated are considerable!

In .5 seconds you will fall roughly 4 feet and the force on impact (if you struck the ground) would be 3,200Lbs! There is no way a human can recover and self-arrest a fall when acting against these forces.

Let’s look at a chart of Fall Distance vs Arresting Force on Impact for 200 pound roofer.

Fall Distance           Time         Arresting Force7.6”                         .10 sec             512 lbs

17”                         .30 sec             1,152 lbs

31”                        .40 sec              2,048 lbs

4 feet                     .50 sec              3,200 lbs

6 feet                     .62 sec             4,800 lbs

8 feet                     .71 sec             6,400 lbs

10 feet                  .79 sec              8,000 lbs

As your fall progresses, the speed at which you fall increases as does the forces of impact that will be exerted upon you when you hit the ground.

You will only stop when you hit a lower surface – be it the ground or another roof/vehicle etc.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Impact of Storm and Preparedness

Cable Commentator and Long Island Resident Bill O'Reilly, captured the essence of the Storm Impact and being prepared last week:

Here's the big lesson from mega storm Sandy. Mother Nature sneers at high tech, mocks modern convenience and couldn't care less about what kind of person you are - she will smack you if she wants.

Many of us have forgotten about nature as we have become addicted to machines. We must have gizmos. Sandy laughed and took them away. Power, gone. Internet, dark. Cell phones, not happening. Even your landline phone - not available because "all circuits are busy."

Suddenly, it was 1850 with one exception: battery operated flashlights and radios.

So what is the lesson here?

Well, actually there are a few. First, that no government agency can help you when disaster strikes. Any assistance will be after the fact and painstakingly slow.

Second, that in order to ride out any storm effectively, you should be self-reliant and resilient. That means you have to anticipate problems and have some solutions at the ready.

For example, where I live on Long Island, the power infrastructure is a disaster and has been for years. The power company, LIPA, simply cannot keep the juice flowing under any duress. I have accepted that, so I bought a generator. However, during Sandy, the generator did not work. You can imagine how many four-letter words were uttered. But, I had a Plan B. I know some guys who can repair generators, and they fixed mine very quickly. I have a long-term relationship with these guys and will reward them.

So, I rode out the storm pretty well, and that's good because there are children in my home.

Never one time did I think the local, state or federal government was going to help me in any way. When President Obama speaks about government being there for you, I roll my eyes. In the history of mankind, no government has ever been there for the individual. Ever.

Sadly, we are becoming a nation dependent on other people, and very reliant on machines. Sandy's destruction brought us back to the 19th century, as the collapse of the machines was something to see. Many people were lost without their appliances because they are not self-reliant. They also do not think ahead. They do not figure out Plan B because they don't even have a Plan A.

Life is hard, and then you die. But, while you're alive, you'll be far better off if you forget about the big government nonsense, deemphasize the machines, and begin incorporating the discipline of self-reliance into your life.

Sorry for the lecture, but my father always said that out of bad things can come some good. Americans need to wise up, and with the election just a few days away, we have an opportunity to do so. We the people need leadership that will solve problems, be fiscally responsible, and promote individual responsibility. The charlatans that promise big government protection will always be around, but are no match for Sandy and her furious friends.

That is the lesson of this terrible storm.