Where is OSHA in this "green" industry ?

WileERobby

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I'm sure any of us who've been in the automotive industry in one form or another, is very well aware of OSHA. So, I'm watching a crew install solar roof panels on a neighbor's home. And doing a very good, diligent job of doing so. Now, this particular home is a two-story house, and the roof significantly high above the hard ground below. And as I watch them proceed, seemingly prancing all over the roof, passing & handling the large solar panels, I notice NO safety measures. I look up on my computer "solar worker falls off roof" and of course, the injury & fatality stories appear. I then wonder if there are OSHA regulations. Answer : At the federal level, there are no specific standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the solar industry and there are no dedicated training programs for solar safety.
 

GetX'd

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Ok - so you expect more from occupying admin for an industry they're trying to cram down our throats.......
 

Mackman

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I would suspect they come under the construction or maintenance standards.
 

beanhead

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They only have so many people and typically rely on "whistleblowers"(aka safety snitches...)
ESPECIALLY when it comes to residential work. They tend to concentrate on industrial and commercial facilities (e.g. those with deep enough pockets to pay their fines..)...osha folks don't typically prowl the neighborhoods.
Hell man if you see a violation, report it!
Most of the home solar work is being done by "roofing contractors" (=home depot parking lot labor).....
 

WileERobby

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They only have so many people and typically rely on "whistleblowers"(aka safety snitches...)
ESPECIALLY when it comes to residential work. They tend to concentrate on industrial and commercial facilities (e.g. those with deep enough pockets to pay their fines..)...osha folks don't typically prowl the neighborhoods.
Hell man if you see a violation, report it!
Most of the home solar work is being done by "roofing contractors" (=home depot parking lot labor).....
Auto and Auto Body/Collision shops have to deal with an OSHA inspection. Yeah, they look at small business. In my point of this thread, how do you report a violation, when there are no regulations ? Why does an auto business have to comply with safety standards, when an industry they're pushing, doesn't have any ?
 

mopar 3 B

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Auto and Auto Body/Collision shops have to deal with an OSHA inspection. Yeah, they look at small business. In my point of this thread, how do you report a violation, when there are no regulations ? Why does an auto business have to comply with safety standards, when an industry they're pushing, doesn't have any ?
There is a reg. Just call OSHA and ask. They will find it if worker safety is an issue. I would bet it also covers the tools that can be used to do the install as well as the way test are conducted.
Start with local codes and permits. As you know OSHA are a bunch of sneaky bas**ds when it comes to code.
 

WileERobby

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There is a reg. Just call OSHA and ask. They will find it if worker safety is an issue. I would bet it also covers the tools that can be used to do the install as well as the way test are conducted.
Start with local codes and permits. As you know OSHA are a bunch of sneaky bas**ds when it comes to code.
I really don't give a crap. I was just wondering, since we in the auto industry had to deal with them. I looked it up & this is what came up: At the federal level, there are no specific standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for the solar industry and there are no dedicated training programs for solar safety.
 

PlymCrazy

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22 years and counting as a building tradesman. Industrial/commercial. OSHA has a strong presence on the large jobs we are typically on. You don’t hear much about residential OSHA presence around here. Can get costly real quick if you’re not following the rules. Especially on the high profile jobs like schools and hospitals. In fact, contractors receive compliance ratings and that has a significant impact on their likelihood of being invited to bid on jobs. Safety ratings and OSHA compliance will make you or break you around here.
 

64fury74charger

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Just my 2cents on this is the installation should be under roofing and not solar installation. Those workers are walking around on a roof.
 

beanhead

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Auto and Auto Body/Collision shops have to deal with an OSHA inspection. Yeah, they look at small business. In my point of this thread, how do you report a violation, when there are no regulations ? Why does an auto business have to comply with safety standards, when an industry they're pushing, doesn't have any ?

'Solar' work in itself doesn't warrant anything special that isn't already covered by existing roofing or electrical construction rules. The regulatory areas where residential solar installations differ are purely technical (proper labeling, disconnecting means and accessibility for the F.D. etc) and are (supposed to be) enforced by the local PUC/electrical utility.

So what is it that you're concerned about? Fall Protection? Ladder or power tool safety? Electrical safety? Rigging? It's all on the books already and I for one don't need the gubbamint spending a million dollars just to segregate some rules that are already in place....(and I know you don't want that either!)
 
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Lefty71

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Don't kid yourself.... if the SOLAR industry (meaning contractors) have easy money for the taking, OSHA WILL be there to take it.... everything they need is indeed in place for them to do so as they see fit.
 

FitzyB5

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Photovoltaic installations fall under National ANSI code and should have safety regulations to follow just like every other electrical contractor.
 

multimopes

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Hell, being 70 years old now, I won't even go up on my 2 story high roof anymore. I used to go up there every year to clean my gutters and point my chimney. Scares the **** of of me now just thinking about it! :eek:
 

mopar 3 B

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Hell, being 70 years old now, I won't even go up on my 2 story high roof anymore. I used to go up there every year to clean my gutters and point my chimney. Scares the **** of of me now just thinking about it! :eek:
I am three years behind you and it's not the being there or the getting there that bothers me. It's the what the heck if one of those old body parts decides to crap out at the wrong time. Then there is the nag, nag what the heck you think you're doing up there from someone on the ground.
 

sam dupont

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Insert: North Dakota and "Falls". There is only one investigator for North and South Dakota. The widow of a construction worker in South Dakota killed because of a careless employer cannot sue and will receive only $10K.

 

WileERobby

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'Solar' work in itself doesn't warrant anything special that isn't already covered by existing roofing or electrical construction rules. The regulatory areas where residential solar installations differ are purely technical (proper labeling, disconnecting means and accessibility for the F.D. etc) and are (supposed to be) enforced by the local PUC/electrical utility.

So what is it that you're concerned about? Fall Protection? Ladder or power tool safety? Electrical safety? Rigging? It's all on the books already and I for one don't need the gubbamint spending a million dollars just to segregate some rules that are already in place....(and I know you don't want that either!)
I agree, but I think you're missing my point entirely. I'm not concerned, but curious. I don't know what's " on the books" already, that's why I wondered.
 
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WileERobby

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22 years and counting as a building tradesman. Industrial/commercial. OSHA has a strong presence on the large jobs we are typically on. You don’t hear much about residential OSHA presence around here. Can get costly real quick if you’re not following the rules. Especially on the high profile jobs like schools and hospitals. In fact, contractors receive compliance ratings and that has a significant impact on their likelihood of being invited to bid on jobs. Safety ratings and OSHA compliance will make you or break you around here.
Thanks, but do these contractors ( the one I was observing is a big name in the industry ) have to follow safety precautions ? I seen none on that job. And I looked up about injuries/fatalities of solar workers, and what category do they fall (pun intended ) under ?
 
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Kern Dog

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That organization always seemed like a bunch of ******** to me.
They exist partly because some people are too damn stupid to make decisions for themselves regarding common sense safety practices.
I've been in construction since 1986. I've done things that would make the OSHA guys cringe. They operate from ivory tower offices and push protocols that often don't work and only burden the company and the employees.
Yes, they have done some good but a smart and competent employee knows how to do dangerous work without getting hurt. Each year, there are fewer and fewer of us though as these bullshit regulations get enforced.
I've used circular saws with pinned or missing guards for most of my career and have never been cut because I know what I am doing. A dumb *** can hurt himself with a foam hammer.
I've worked on roofs for most of my career. I know what feels right and what doesn't. When they pushed safety harnesses on us for roof work, I pushed back. Dragging a saw cord, an air hose for the nail gun and a "safety" line was a recipe for trouble and a huge tripping hazard.
A competent Carpenter does not need to be told how to be safe.
In the early 2000s, we worked a job where the roofs were an 8 in 12 slope. That is 33 degrees like seen in this photo:

IMG_0180.JPG


IMG_0474.JPG

This is an uncomfortable slope to work on so I always put 2 x 4 cleats down to give me a ledge to feel safer. OSHA would have me tied off to a rope or cable mounted at the ridge/peak. The harness is intrusive and cumbersome. It makes me sweat and feel angry. Wearing a harness in cold weather is still a pisser but nowhere near as bad. If one can't nail cleats to the roof sheeting, the options are the harness or scaffolding below the work area.
Back when my old company was still building houses, there was huge resistance to the harnesses. They invested in some bolt on scaffolding that was a godsend! This attaches to the top plates of the wall frame and rests against the outsides of the walls. It allows 2 planks to be used so it was plenty wide enough. We could frame the roof, sheet and nail it then remove the scaffold for use in the next house. Other jobs we worked employed full height scaffold that started at the ground and ran the full height of the building.
Here is the rub though....
Once you get used to the scaffold, you can lose some of your guts-balls-nerve for walking on roofs without it. You get accustomed to the "training wheels" and either relearn how to be comfortable with it or wear a harness.
 
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