How To Be OSHA Compliant

Hey Guys,

Do any of you guys know how a company can do gutter cleaning and be OSHA compliant? My understanding is that you have to have a safety body harness attached to an anchor that is either screwed in to the customer’s roof, or you have to take a tile off, and attach the harness to the wood frame of the house. I don’t think any home owners are going to be OK with those options. Also, 90% of the roofs in my area are concrete shingle roofs, so we can’t screw in an anchor.

Also, even if you could put in an anchor attached to the roof, you would not be in a safety harness, until you walked up the roof to put it in, and thereby would be out of OSHA compliance.

We could do some homes from a ladder completely, but most homes require us to get on the roof for at least part of the gutters.

Any ideas of how a gutter cleaning company can do their work and still be in compliance with OSHA standards, apart from using a boom lift?

There are other ways to have fall protection than that. You’re right, nobody is going to want that home depot thing attached to their roof.

And unfortunately, for houses especially with tile roofs there aren’t many choices for doglines or anything.

Definitely a game changer. However, a man has to eat.

Personally, I’d call and ask.

I’d also have to wait and see how enforcement is done, like I said a man has to eat. But if it does become a game changer, then it will completely change the way builders finish the roof. They’d need to install permanent anchors on every roof to be compliant.

With that said, OSHA must know this and in the past has given some wiggle room such as the chair work for window cleaners being ok if there’s no other way to do it safely.

You gotta call them or show up and ask them.

Because if its a game changer, its also an opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd of knuckleheads and become the baller you were destined to be…


No houses I have ever seen has this. I almost always see new construction workers walking roofs with no, zero, zilch, not a thing, for safety harness. The other day I say one worker in particular who was bent over working with his back to the edge of a two story. Yea, you get the picture, one half step back and down he would have gone - no harness or anything.
There are those pipe like deals that you can drop down the kitchen/bathroom pipe and tie off on those, but again - I NEVER SEE ANYONE using them.
Actually in the last year I saw one construction site where the roof workers were harnessed off. I couldn’t say whether there is a permanent tie off on the roof or not. OSHA can have all the regulations they want, but practically nobody is adhering to it around here.


I absolutely agree it’s a great way to stand out. That’s one reason I want to know what the requirements are. Knowing and following the guidelines positions you as an industry leader in the eyes of the customer.

I hear ya. I used to roof for a living. If my boss told me I had to use a harness I’d probably push him right off the roof. Bad joke.

But how are you going to be tied off and be expected to work all day loading a roof, shingling or laying tile? AND make the boss happy at the end of the day.

Usually roofers get paid piece work, so the longer they take the less they are paid.

Its true tho.

I’ve never seen anyone using them either. But the only time you can use any kind of anchor system is before the roof is done because everyone knows that it messes the roof up. But there are anchor systems already that are permanent. Just google image search “fall protection systems for houses” and you’ll see a few of them.

I’m nearly certain its adhered to more in the commercial world tho.

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Check out this.

That was really interesting.

However, he was not OSHA compliant, while he was on the roof getting everything ready. So, how can you be OSHA compliant before tying off?

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Actually he was, OSHA allows you 15 minutes to setup your fall protection. :wink:

Now that’s so laughable!
They allow you 15 minute to make a fatal mistake…lol

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Well they understand that your protection equipment has to be setup. I’d be pissed if you stepped on the roof and immediately OSHA wrote a citation.

There had to be some leeway in the rules. I think a lot of the rules should vary, but at the end of the day, it is what it is.

That as dangers as walking the roof.

Um, I’m gonna call BULL on that one. Can you show me where it says that?

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My local OSHA office told me this over the phone. I’d recommend calling yours, explain to them what your doing and they should give you any information you need. Most inspectors care about your intentions.

If they see you trying, they’re going to work with you, NOT against you.

OSHA compliant?

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Now that takes trust to a level where I have never been.


OMG that can’t be real!

OMG yes it can because its on the internet…lol :grinning:


I think it’s real. At least they put the smaller guy out there. That is an old OSHA rule. :wink:

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I would not be surprised one bit if I saw this in Brazil.


Of course they are, well, they have a half hour before they have to be.

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