Where is OSHA in this "green" industry ?

WileERobby

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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:

View attachment 1347371

View attachment 1347372
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.
Your comments couldn't be more correct, especially your first sentence. I'm curious if what you stated applies to these people doing solar installs.
 

Kern Dog

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I understand the need to keep people safe but when they push a "one size fits all" regulation, it pisses me off.
Just like politicians, they make rules that they will never have to live with. For them, they may think that they are saving people but many of their regulations impart burdens while not making it any safer.
For example:
Ladder safety....We are NOT supposed to stand on a folding step ladder that is leaning against a wall. It has to be extended to sit on all four "feet".
What about extension ladders? They only have 2 feet but somehow, they are okay?
 

WileERobby

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I understand the need to keep people safe but when they push a "one size fits all" regulation, it pisses me off.
Just like politicians, they make rules that they will never have to live with. For them, they may think that they are saving people but many of their regulations impart burdens while not making it any safer.
For example:
Ladder safety....We are NOT supposed to stand on a folding step ladder that is leaning against a wall. It has to be extended to sit on all four "feet".
What about extension ladders? They only have 2 feet but somehow, they are okay?
And that's it, dopey regs made for stupid people. I use a circular saw without the guard. I like your ladder comment, I've stood on a ladder that way many times. Same thing in the auto and collision shops. Rules made for the dummies.
 

eldubb440

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I was once hired to manage an auto body shop.......the previous manager who was fired and disgruntled reported to osha we were painting outside the booth, which was not true........ anyway, I'm there about 2 weeks and we get a visit from a useless 400+ pound pos who wrote 18 thousand dollars worth of fines for extension cords, not having extra respirators in various sizes on hand for employees, and some other bullshit....... then they offer to settle for 6 grand, making any attempt to contest it not worth while.......it was a total shakedown
 
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PlymCrazy

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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 ?
Not being in that specific trade myself, best I could do is speculate so I looked it up. See link below. I’m a proponent of safety and common sense. And when unsure about the safety of something, especially if it looks significant, find out before you just do it. At least go and see it done once before you try to try tackle it blindly. I’m not promoting any particular entity here, believe me. I have my own personal feelings about about why I believe these governing bodies are in place. But that’s for another conversation, preferably where you can hear my voice. Not in text or writing. Even with all the rules in place, we all still make mistakes and get hurt at times or even worse. One of the most efficient, skilled guys I ever worked with we lost in 2015. He had one year left to retire. Complacency. Less than a half hour to quitting time. Something he did 1000 times before and this one time doing it was his last. Hard to make a rule to prevent that sort of thing. That’s all I want to say about it really. Hope you find some answers here.

Green Job Hazards - Solar Energy | Occupational Safety and Health Administration
 

Richard Cranium

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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:

View attachment 1347371

View attachment 1347372
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.



Around here, pretty much all of the framing crews now are either Mexican or Puerto Rican. We call them "no-speaks" and the only one who can speak English is the boss of the crew. It bothers me not knowing if they are legal or not, but I will say that they do work like hell.
 

Ron H

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Having dealt with the agency for four decades, the standards relate to ‘employers’ covering employees in the manufacturing, construction, and agriculture sectors. Roof work is under construction standards if the employer is in the construction sector; though not always, if say the employees doing this work are employed by the business being in mfg, such as their maintenance department. Fall protection regs are different btw these two sectors – 4-feet if in mfg, 6-feet if under construction. Lol, except if on a scaffold, the fall protection mandate is 10-feet. If the contractor is self-employed, having no employees, osha doesn’t cover them. Fed and state employees can come under different standards; but many are pretty much the same regs just under different codes. Then there’s the type of fall protection used and the multitude of violations...fall restraint, fall protection, among others where one doesn't permit a free-fall while the other does, such as shock-absorbing lanyards. Then there is residential and commercial construction regs. Yes, it was a hoot figuring it out sometimes.

Some contractors getting outbid by others knowing their method of operation would contact osha to get their competition in trouble once they started the job.
 

68gtxman

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OSHA 1926 is for construction, which also includes maintenance and repairs to facilities. Anything not specifically covered in OSHA 1926 falls into the general industry standard, OSHA 1910. I would classify solar panel installation as “construction”, but it seems that OSHA put it in the general industry section under Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard, OSHA 1910.269. 1926 prohibits work at elevations that permit a fall of 6 feet or more without the use of fall protection, while 1910 is less. (This is not a requirement levied on steel erectors.) Fall protection could be via a harness, lanyard and anchor, or a net system or other device(s) that would prevent a fall to the ground below.

I have written forensic engineering reports on quite a few falls from roofs. The injured party can’t sue their employer (at least in NJ and PA) because of the workman’s comp exclusion. They likely could sue the property owner for not ensuring they hired an OSHA compliant contractor. But if the party was employed by a subcontractor, then the GC and and property owner might be successfully sued.

OSHA applies to all employees of others. They even view 1099 workers as employees. Legally, the workman’s comp exclusion does not recognize 1099 workers that I‘ve seen.
 
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68gtxman

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I forgot to say that OSHA does not directly apply to mine workers. They are covered under MSHA. But if MSHA does not directly specify a particular protection that OSHA does cover, they have a mutual agreement that allows for an OSHA citation for that.
 

tak419

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In my opinion they should dis-ban OSHA along with other agencies like the FBI and IRS. Not needed in today's society. And before you all get on the band wagon of safety, how about we just teach common sense instead of rely on equipment, which gives the younger gen a false sense of what's actually safe. Example, the other day I had to do a conduit bridge attachment working from a very wide, rock bottom creek with about a foot of water in it. Bridge was about 15' above water. The proper way according to OSHA is have a fall protection harness on. Problem is the anchor points for the harness wrap the harness above your head, putting the strap at many times going around your neck. I'd hate to fall and have the harness get around my neck. And because the harness strap slowed down progress so much it made wanting to move the ladder and reset up a long process, so you reached out as far as you could to get as many attachment points without moving the ladder. Now you're leaning off the ladder. Not safe. The safe way, throw the damn fall protection in the truck, move the ladder where you can work while not leaning off the ladder. Quicker to climb ladder, anchor ladder to bridge, attach conduit anchor, climb down, move ladder 4 feet, anchor ladder to bridge, climb, anchor conduit. Fast and safer than the damn fall protection harness. OSHA doesn't always know best.
 

WileERobby

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OSHA 1926 is for construction, which also includes maintenance and repairs to facilities. Anything not specifically covered in OSHA 1926 falls into the general industry standard, OSHA 1910. I would classify solar panel installation as “construction”, but it seems that OSHA put it in the general industry section under Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard, OSHA 1910.269. 1926 prohibits work at elevations that permit a fall of 6 feet or more without the use of fall protection, while 1910 is less. (This is not a requirement levied on steel erectors.) Fall protection could be via a harness, lanyard and anchor, or a net system or other device(s) that would prevent a fall to the ground below.

I have written forensic engineering reports on quite a few falls from roofs. The injured party can’t sure their employer (at least in NJ and PA) because of the workman’s comp exclusion. They likely could sue the property owner for not ensuring they hired an OSHA compliant contractor. But if the party was employed by a subcontractor, then the GC and and property owner might be successfully sued.

OSHA applies to all employees of others. They even view 1099 workers as employees. Legally, the workman’s comp exclusion does not recognize 1099 workers that I‘ve seen.
Thanks, interesting... these roofs are 20+ feet high.
 

Wyatt

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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 ?
Near me, roofing companies are saying their warranty is null & void. Especially on new construction. Makes sense. Who knows who is poking holes in their roof? But it has the 'greenie's' melting.
 

WileERobby

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Near me, roofing companies are saying their warranty is null & void. Especially on new construction. Makes sense. Who knows who is poking holes in their roof? But it has the 'greenie's' melting.
A new roof was installed immediately prior to the solar install.
 

Ron H

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Yeah, could write a book about the occasions where contractors, other employers had their ills with osha. Was an authorized trainer for 20 years. Became more of a hassle when the 1926 regs on residential morphed to resemble the commercial regs…worse for remodeling firms vs new construction such as finding suitable anchorage under and behind existing roofs, siding, etc. What fun (not) it was. One contractor had a couple employees who said fuck doze rules, including the foreman who nabbed their employer a repeat than worse, a willful violation. The latter gets into criminal prosecution aside from tripling the amount of the citations. Well, ahh, sure fuck the rules and their employer is going to pay either way. Was able to get that firm off the hook via ‘employee misconduct’ a one-time free pass. Many a day at the osha regional offices negotiating take downs of violations/fines. Removing a citation was a no-deal; but not unusual to determine they cited the same damn thing twice, just under a different reg that could be deleted. Problems involved inspectors and managers who never worked in the trades or a machine shop being a bitch to deal with. Lol, one area manager, female, got to not liking me so dreaded future meetings with her. Well, it started when she was insisting on was a 100 grand fix for a small shop (lockout violations) whereas I had a reasonable solution costing around a grand. Won that and she was peeved.

My last big job was on a large construction site and the rules the GC had were nuts. Ladders were banned requiring lifts, unless via a special approval to use one. Good luck getting approval the same day. Lol, traffic jams with all the lifts. “Hey need to get my lift over there.” “Too bad pard, I’ll be done in an hour; you can move here then.” Some of the huge GC’s could be more strict than osha. Only reason I tolerated this job was the cash was too good; then came the pandemic. Let’s see, hardhat, hearing protection, eyewear, safety shoes, hi-vis vest, insulated Carhartt’s, gloves (required 100%) walking 5-7 miles a day. Then had to wear a mask fogging up the glasses. I put a face shield on the hat to drop the glasses. Then the break room tent had limits on how many could be in there at one time. Just walked to my truck for breaks/lunch; but parking lot was around 4-500 yards away. Some days the gravel/mud lot was flooded with ankle-deep water. Yep, the big people's lot was closer and paved. And what fun it was when having to take a dump in the outside shitters when it was 0 out.

Good Lord, glad I’m retired.
 

sam dupont

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I read on OSHA's website that the majority of fatalities from falls are 10 feet or less.

In the Trades, someone asked me: "Notice how the old guys tie off?" "That's why they're old"
 

mopar 3 B

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Around here, pretty much all of the framing crews now are either Mexican or Puerto Rican. We call them "no-speaks" and the only one who can speak English is the boss of the crew. It bothers me not knowing if they are legal or not, but I will say that they do work like hell.
You do know they can shut the operation down if you don't know if your employees are legal or not. Greed will be biting someone sometime. Getting away with it will not be a good excuse.
 

Charles Cook

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How many violations can you spot here ???? This was yesterday on my job site.

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Ron H

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I echo a lot of that same frustration. One day soon hoping to arrive and repeat your last line.
- Nick
All the best toward your retirement and thereafter. It’s weird when I reflect on the bullshit times making a living, how the details of it come back to mind; but now not having to get up in the morning to do it again any longer. A feeling of loss in some respects, even though I don’t want it back! Good spot for an ‘lol’
 
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